How to elect a chair and vice-chair of governors

As a governing board you must elect a chair and vice-chair of governors. Get to grips with the rules, and use our flowchart and checklist to make sure your election process runs smoothly.

Last reviewed on 6 September 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 3734
  1. When and how often to run elections
  2. Use our flowchart and checklist
  3. Who can and can't stand
  4. Nominating candidates
  5. Voting
  6. Tied votes

When and how often to run elections

Your board can choose when in the year elections take place. 


Governing boards in academies are required to hold elections every school year. 

Maintained schools

It's up to your board to decide, as there's no official guidance on how long a chair or vice-chair's term of office should be. Check your standing orders as they may specify a time.

Many maintained school boards choose to elect a new chair and vice-chair every year. 2 or 3 years should be the maximum length for a term of office. This advice came from Hayley James, a governance trainer and consultant.

Department for Education (DfE) guidance recommends a change from time to time, as is necessary to keep the board fresh and moving forward (see page 8, paragraph 19). 

Clearly record the terms of office in your board's minutes. 

There's no official process for electing

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