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
Contents
  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. 

Academies 

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

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.