Sunday, 11 September 2011

School Governing Body Committees Part 3


The School Governance Regulations lay down a minimum quorum of 3 governors for committee meetings.  However, the governing body can set higher quorums if it wishes.

There are two exceptions to this minimum quorum which are allowed in law: 

• where the committee is considering whether to determine that a member of staff should cease to work at the school and it is not “reasonably practicable” for the committee to consist of 3 governors, the quorum is 2; 

• where the committee is carrying out the performance management of the Headteacher, the quorum is 2 governors who are not employed at the school.  

At Church schools, one of the 2 governors must be a Foundation Governor.  

A further complication at voluntary aided Church schools is that, where there are 3 governors responsible for carrying out the performance management of the Headteacher, 2 of the 3 governors must be Foundation Governors. 

In addition to these legal requirements, the Local Authority also recommends that governing bodies should set as part of the quorum for all their committees that at least one of the governors present at the committee meeting must not be employed at the school for the meeting to be quorate. 

There is more guidance on governors for individual committees in the document “School Governing Body Committees: Model Terms of Reference”. 


Governing bodies must insist that committees produce full minutes of their meetings and report to the full governing body on their actions and decisions.  

These are legal requirements. 

Minutes need not be over-detailed, but should include: 

• who was present at the meeting; 

• the items considered and the issues (in general) discussed under each item; 

• any decisions made by the committee. 

Apart from providing all governors with important information, the minutes also give the full governing body the opportunity to ensure that the committee has not exceeded its delegated powers. 

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