Last reviewed on 19 September 2018
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 5529

There is no restriction on the chair of governors serving successive terms, and no limit on their length of service. Read recommendations for appropriate lengths of service, and understand the benefits of restricting terms of office.

Recommended lengths of service

As a board, you should carefully consider how many times you re-elect their chair to a new term of office. 

The Department for Education (DfE) suggests that it can be beneficial for strong chairs to move to a different school after a "reasonable" time. It gives 2 terms of office as an example as this can:

Help to share expertise across the system and prevent boards stagnating or individual governors gaining too much power and influence solely through their length of service.

This is outlined in paragraph 50 of the Governance Handbook.

Harry James, one of our associate governance experts, recommended 6 years as the maximum length of service for chair.

Benefits of limiting chairs' terms

Governors can become too reliant on the chair

Having a chair who stays in