School governors' right to time off work

You have the right to take 'reasonable' time off work to carry out your governor duties. Find out what the rules are, if your profession is exempt, and what to do if you're having problems with your employer.

Last reviewed on 27 March 2024See updates
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  1. The rules
  2. Agree 'reasonable' time off with your employer
  3. Check if your job is exempt
  4. If you're having difficulties with your employer

This article is based on GOV.UK guidance on the right to time off work for public duties, the Employment Rights Act 1996, section 4.9 of the maintained schools governance guide.

The rules

According to government guidance on the the right to time off work for public duties, an employee can get a "reasonable" amount of time off if they're:

  • A school governor
  • A member of the managing or governing body of an educational establishment

This time off:

  • Is to fulfil your governance duties, including attending meetings
  • May be given with pay, but your employer doesn't have to agree to this
  • Is in addition to the employee's usual holiday entitlement

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) told us this applies to both maintained schools and academies.

A specific amount of time off is not laid down in law. The employee and employer should agree beforehand on what's "reasonable"

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