Quick guide to governance legislation

Bookmark our quick reference guide to the key governance legislation and guidance so you can easily refer to it on a regular basis. Use our downloadable copy to keep to hand for when you need it.

Last reviewed on 10 February 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 35250
  1. Your first port of call: the Governance Handbook 
  2. Maintained school regulations
  3. Academy regulations
  4. How to check if legislation is up to date 
  5. Keep this article handy

Clerks: this guide is mainly aimed at you - as your board's 'governance professional' your role includes advising on governance legal and procedural matters.  

Governors: you won't need to know this guidance in depth but you can use it to get an overview of key governance legislation. Remember that your clerk will often have the answers you need. 

Your first port of call: the Governance Handbook 

The Governance Handbook will often be the first place to look for anything governance-related. It's not legislation itself, but it:

  • Sets out the core role and functions of the governing board
  • Summarises all the legal duties on boards, signposting to more detailed information, guidance and resources
  • Provides information on the support available to boards to be effective

It's published by the Department for Education (DfE) and is usually updated annually.

Maintained school regulations

The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 set out the rules on how your board