Parent Governor Election Pack

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					     GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
             PARENT GOVERNOR

            REVISED – NOVEMBER 2009



                 This pack contains:


P1    Instructions for the Returning Officer on the
      conduct of PARENT GOVERNOR elections

P2    Guidance on who is eligible to stand and vote on
      Parent Governor Elections

P3    Sample letter to all eligible    PARENTS   inviting
      nominations

P4    Ballot paper pro-forma for the election of a
      PARENT GOVERNOR. (To be adapted according to
      the number of vacancies)

P5    Sample letter of appointment to successful
      candidate(s)

P6    Sample letter to unsuccessful candidates(s)
           DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                              November 2009




                CONDUCT OF PARENT ELECTIONS


P1 Instructions for the Returning Officer

1     These instructions and rules apply to all Community Schools, including
      Nursery Schools, Community Special Schools and to Voluntary
      Controlled Schools.

2     Church of England and Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Schools are
      advised by their respective Directors to follow these rules, as are
      Foundation Schools.

3     Devon County Council delegates to the headteacher/principal of the
      school/college/setting the arrangements for the conduct of PARENT
      GOVERNOR elections and to act as returning officer.              The
      headteacher/principal may be assisted by the clerk to the governing
      body or another person and in any case the count should be conducted
      in front of witnesses. The Returning Officer must make every effort to
      ensure the security and fairness of the election process.

4     Timetable
      Prepare a timetable for the formal election procedure beginning with
      notification of a vacancy for a parent governor, inviting nominations and
      ending with the election count. You should allow two weeks for the
      return of nominations and one week in which parents should vote.
      Allow sufficient time for the printing of ballot papers between these two
      stages. It is in order to use a system of pupil post but to send by post
      to parents living away.




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                          DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                             November 2009




                                         ELECTION TIMETABLE

                  Event                           Date of             Time Allowance        Date and Time
                                                Distribution                                 for Return

Distribution of letter to all eligible                                 ALLOW TWO
parents announcing vacancy and                                         WEEKS FOR
inviting nominations.                                                  RETURN OF
(Sample letter : P3)                                                  NOMINATIONS

        Allow time for printing and preparation of correct stationery with details of the candidates

Distribution of voting papers to all                                  ALLOW ONE
eligible parents, giving details of                                   WEEK FOR
valid nominations and date by which                                   RETURN OF
completed ballot papers must be                                         VOTES
returned, pro-forma P4 (depending
on number of vacancies).

Counting of votes                            Conducted by Returning Officer in the presence of
                                             witnesses

                                             Writes letter of appointment to new parent governor(s)
                                             with expiry of term of office clearly recorded –
Clerk to Governing Body                      sample letter P5 – and inform unsuccessful
                                             candidate(s) – sample letter P6.

                                             Complete form ‘H(R) and return this to LA (Governor
                                             Support) and relevant Diocese, if applicable, with
                                             notification of the appointment.

Local Authority (Governor Support)           On receipt of form ‘H(R)’ sends the new parent
                                             governor(s) a New Governor Welcome Pack.

          5       Eligibility in the Education Act 2002 for Parent Governor means:

          a person who is elected as a member of the school’s governing body by
          parents of registered pupils at the school who has a child at the school at the
          time of election. A parent governor is entitled to serve out their term of office
          even if their child has left the school. See guidance below.

          Eligibility to stand carries with it eligibility to vote.

          Parents who are ineligible to stand are still entitled to vote.

          6       Using sample letter P3 (letter inviting nominations for parent
                  governor), circulate enough copies for ONE for each parent of a
                  registered pupil.




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          DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                             November 2009



7    When the closing date for nominations is reached, check nominations
     to satisfy yourself of the eligibility of each prospective candidate. We
     strongly recommend each prospective candidate signs the Declaration
     of Eligibility, before proceeding to election (Proforma is on Governor
     Support website: http://www.devonldp.org )

8    If the number of valid nominations exceeds the number of vacancies, a
     secret ballot will be required. Each candidate can be asked to submit a
     short personal statement in support of their nomination and to help
     parents make an informed vote. This should be printed in sufficient
     quantities to accompany ballot papers.

9    If the number of nominations is equal to or fewer than the number of
     vacancies, then the nominees may be appointed. If a vacancy remains
     unfilled then every effort should be made to fill it.

     In these circumstances a parent governor may be 'appointed'. Parents
     who are eligible to be 'appointed' include:

     -     a parent of a registered pupil at the school
     -     a parent of a former registered pupil at the school, or
     -     a parent of a child under 5 of compulsory school age

10   Using the correct stationery, P4 (Ballot Papers), enter the full name
     of the candidate(s) in alphabetical order and the date for the return to
     you of the completed ballot papers. Print sufficient copies for one for
     each eligible voter. Please ensure you amend the ballot forms to
     show the appropriate number of vacancies you have for election.

11   Dispatch the ballot paper, the personal statements and a return
     envelope to each parent/guardian/carer eligible to vote by pupil post.
     In the case of parents living away from the school and where children
     are absent from school the papers should be sent to them by post,
     making sure the papers are distributed to only one child per family unit.

12   All returned completed unopened ballot papers should be kept in a
     secure place as should any that are unused.

13   The headteacher shall notify the candidate(s) of the date, time and
     place of the count. The arrangements for the count should be made in
     consultation with the Chair of Governors and should be the subject of a
     notice placed on a school notice board or in a newsletter.

14   The count should normally take place after noon on the day (or the
     following day) by which completed ballot papers are to be returned, at
     the school. Candidates may be present at the count if they wish.




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          DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                             November 2009


15   As returning officer you should conduct the count accompanied by the
     Chair of Governors or his/her nominee. A vote for a candidate shall be
     signified by a cross placed by the voter against a candidate's name.
     Any voting paper which enables the voter to be identified will be null
     and void.

16   The decision as to whether a vote is valid falls to the returning officer.

     The candidate(s) to be elected will be the candidate(s) gaining the
     highest number of votes in the election. In the event of a tie, the
     candidates will draw lots in the presence of the returning officer and
     Chair of Governors, or nominee.

16   When the result is known it should be posted on the school notice
     board. Both the successful and unsuccessful candidates should be
     notified. The successful candidate(s) should receive a letter of
     appointment (sample P5), from the clerk to the governors stating the
     expiry date of the term of office, as determined in the Instrument of
     Government. The unsuccessful candidate(s) should be sent sample
     letter P11.

17   Completed Ballot papers should be kept in a safe place for a period of
     three months, after which they may be destroyed.

18   Blank Ballot papers may be photocopied from original P4 (linked to
     Governor Support website: www.devonldp.org )

19   There is no legal process for the removal of elected parent governors.




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              DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                 November 2009




P2      GUIDANCE ON WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO STAND AND VOTE ON PARENT
        GOVERNOR ELECTIONS


The definition of “parent” includes:

        •   all natural parents, whether they are married or not: and
        •   any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental
            responsibility for a child or young person; and
        •   any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child
            or young person (having care of a child or young person means that
            a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child,
            irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered
            to be a parent in education law).

     Parental Responsibility: Who has it?

     More than one person may have parental responsibility for the same child
     at the same time, and a person does not cease to have such responsibility
     solely because some other person subsequently also acquires it.

     Both parents have parental responsibility if they were married to each
     other at the time of the child’s birth, although they may have since
     separated or divorced.

     If the child’s parents were not married at the time of the birth, the mother
     has parental responsibility for the child and the father is able to acquire
     parental responsibility for the child if he:

                    marries the mother of the child;
                    enters into a parental responsibility agreement with the
                    mother;
                    registers the child’s birth jointly with the mother (effective
                    from 1 December 2003, but not retrospective);
                    Applies to the court for a parental responsibility order.

Parental responsibility passes to the adopter when an adoption order is made.

Although a care order confers parental responsibility on the local authority, the
local authority will not be treated as a parent for certain purposes under the
Education Acts.



NOTE:

Any parent who is an elected member of the County Council or is paid to work
at the school for more than 500 hours in the academic year, is ineligible to
stand for election as parent governor at that school.


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                              DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                                 November 2009


              Sample Letter P3




Your ref:                         Date:                                          Phone:                        e-mail:
My ref:                           Please ask for:                                Fax:


            Dear Parent

            DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL
            ELECTION OF PARENT GOVERNOR(S)

            I am writing to invite parents, guardians and carers of registered pupils to put their names
            forward for election to serve as parent governors of this school. There are (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
            vacancies.

            All parents over the age of 18 are eligible to stand for election and to vote with the exception
            of:

            (i)       those who are elected members of the Devon County Council
            (ii)      those who are employed to work at the school for more than 500 hours in an
                      academic year
            (iii)     those who are ineligible as listed overleaf.

            If you would like to put your name forward, please complete and return to me the tear-off slip
            by ………

            It may be that you would wish to propose another parent to serve as a parent governor.
            Please note that in this case the parent in question should complete the nomination form after
            you have discussed this possibility.

            If it is necessary for there to be an election I will provide further details of the arrangements.

            Yours sincerely

            Returning Officer
            ----------- ∀ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Election of Parent Governors in Devon

            School/Community College/Setting ………………………………………………………………………….…………………..

            I wish to serve as a Parent Governor and to be a candidate if an election is necessary. I confirm that I am eligible to
            serve as a School Governor.

            Forename(s) – PLEASE PRINT …………………………………………………………………….……………………………

            Surname – PLEASE PRINT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

            Date
            ………………………………………………………Signed:..…………………………………………………………………….

            This form should be returned to the headteacher by ……………………………………………………………………

            *Please delete as appropriate




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             DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                November 2009


YOU ARE INELIGIBLE TO SERVE AS A SCHOOL GOVERNOR IF YOU:

•   are an un-discharged bankrupt;
•   are liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983;
•   have in the previous 5 years (or since becoming a governor) been sentenced to
    3 months or more in prison (whether this was suspended or not) without the
    option of a fine;
•   have in the previous 20 years been sentenced to imprisonment for 2½ years or
    more;
•   have at any time been sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years or more;
•   have been fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school premises
    during the 5 years prior to, or since, appointment or election as a governor;
•   are subject to a disqualification order under the Company Directors
    Disqualification Act 1986(a), or to an order made under Section 429(2)(b) of the
    Insolvency Act 1986(b);
•   have been removed from a charity trusteeship by the Charity Commission or
    High Court on the grounds of misconduct or mismanagement;
•   are included in the list of teachers or workers prohibited or restricted from
    working with children or young persons (currently named list 99);
•   are unwilling to make an application for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check if
    asked by the clerk;
•   have been disqualified from being a independent school proprietor, teacher or
    employee in any school by an Independent Schools Tribunal or the Secretary of
    State;
•   also are the clerk to your own governing body.




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                          DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                             November 2009




             Sample Letter of Appointment P5




Your ref:                    Date:                              Phone:                 e-mail:
My ref:                      Please ask for:                    Fax:




            Dear

            DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL
            ELECTION OF PARENT GOVERNORS

            I am writing to confirm your appointment/election as a Parent Governor on the
            governing body of this school for a period of ……..* years. Your appointment
            will, therefore, expire on …………………

            Your appointment is subject to ISA First Check (formerly List 99) or full CRB
            check and completion of the Declaration of Eligibility, which will be provided
            by the clerk to the governing body.

            The Chair of the Governing Body sends his/her good wishes on your
            appointment.

            I will notify Devon County Council (Governor Support) of your appointment
            and they will send you a ‘New Governors Pack’ and details of training.

            The date of the next meeting of the governing body is on …… at …… am/pm
            at the school. You will be sent an agenda and papers for the meeting at least
            7 days in advance.

            Yours sincerely



            Clerk to the Governors


            NOTE:
            * The term of office for a parent governor is 4 years unless recorded differently in the
              Instrument of Government for the governing body. Please insert as appropriate.




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                        DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                           November 2009


             APPENDIX 6
             Sample Letter P6




Your ref:                  Date:                         Phone:              e-mail:
My ref:                    Please ask for:               Fax:




            Dear

            DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL
            ELECTION OF PARENT GOVERNOR

            I am writing to notify you that you were not elected to serve as a parent
            governor of the school in the recent election.

            I am very grateful to you, however, for agreeing to stand for election and for
            your wish to support the work of the school in the role of school governor.

            Yours sincerely




            Returning Officer




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                                                        PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                                                   July 2009




DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL –                                                       DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL –
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICES                                           CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICES


ELECTION OF ......* PARENT GOVERNOR :                                        ELECTION OF ......* PARENT GOVERNOR :
INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING                                                      INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING


1.   The ballot paper printed overleaf is for the election of ......*        1.   The ballot paper printed overleaf is for the election of ......*
     parent governor(s).                                                          parent governor(s).

2.   Each candidate overleaf is eligible to one vote.                        2.   Each candidate overleaf is eligible to one vote.

3.   Each voter may vote for one candidate.                                  3.   Each voter may vote for one candidate.

4.   The vote should be recorded by placing an X in the space                4.   The vote should be recorded by placing an X in the space
     provided after the name of the candidate you wish to vote for.               provided after the name of the candidate you wish to vote for.
     No other mark should be made on the ballot paper.                            No other mark should be made on the ballot paper.

5.   The ballot paper should be placed in the envelope provided,             5.   The ballot paper should be placed in the envelope provided,
     which should be sealed and returned to the headteacher by                    which should be sealed and returned to the headteacher by
     ………… either by hand or by post                                               ………… either by hand or by post

6.   No duplicate voting paper will be issued.                               6.   No duplicate voting paper will be issued.


     * Complete as appropriate




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                                          PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION PACK
                                                     July 2009

    ELECTION OF ......* PARENT GOVERNOR                         ELECTION OF ......* PARENT GOVERNOR

School/Community College/Setting                            School/Community College/Setting

………………………………………………………………………..                               ………………………………………………………………………..

        You may vote for ONE candidate                               You may vote for ONE candidate




* Complete as appropriate




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