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Dear Clare - Parent Governor Election Campaign

Discussion in 'Governors' started by olga1, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Dear Clare,
    I have a question about rules for Parent Govenor Election campaign.
    I am currently standing for position of parent Governor at my child school. School currently hosting Parent Governors election and for 2 positions they have received 4 applications. However story has started when 1 day I came with my child to school just to find that school gates and premises were covered by one of the candidates campaign papers. "Vote Mr.X!"
    It looked like school is backing him up. Only when I have raised my concerns, Headteacher reluctantly agreed to remove them, admitting at the same time that he is not aware of legality of applicant's campaign, neither how school should react to it.
    Not to mentioning of unhappiness of few parents, who clearly wanted to vote for somebady else.
    I can't seem to find appropriate guidance on how campaign should be run, and what is withing the rules and what is not.
    Can you please help,
    Kind regards,
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    There are no 'rules' about how (or indeed whether) parent governors should conduct election campaigns; however, I would suggest there is a role for the chair of governors (not the head - s/he must steer well clear of such issues) to step in and quickly establish such 'guidelines' as s/he might feel necessary to avoid unpleasantness.
    I would suggest that one such guideline might be 'no posters', please.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I agree with Middlemarch except that PG elections are only the governors responsibility in VA/Foundation schools. In Community/VC schools it is the Head's responsibility (technically the LA's rsponsibility, but they almost invariably delegate it to the HT).
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I know the head always takes responsibility for organising the election of parent governors, RW - but I was giving the opinion that the chair ought to step in and establish 'guidelines' in this case, since the head is merely the returning officer.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Legally the governors are not involved in PG elections if it is Community/VC school. The HT is not "merely" the returning officer, the HT is responsible for the whole conduct of PG elections (within the LA's rules) if the LA has delegated the arrangements for PG elections to HTs (and I've never known them not to). If the head wants advice/guidance/support on drawing up guidelines on PG elections they should go to the LA, not the governors.

    If it is a VA/Foundation school then I agree the HT refers it to the governors as governors are responsible for the PG elections there.

    [Source: Schedule 1 of The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007]

  6. There are no specific rules about the election of parent governors. The school is responsible for ensuring that parents/carers know that they are eligible to stand for nomination and that they have a vote. There are no rules that I am aware of which cover campaigning - parents are not employees of the school and if they wish to canvass other parents for votes there is nothing to stop them. But I would expect a school to be even-handed and fair - i.e. it should give all candidates the opportunity to put information up or none. Schools can ask parents to submit a nomination statement and this can then be circulated with the voting papers so that all parents receive the same information.

    Clare Collins

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