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Schools: Governing Bodies

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many parent governors of schools were serving on (a) primary and (b) secondary school governing bodies in each year since 2001. (188397)

The Department does not collect information on the composition of the governing bodies of maintained schools. However, parents must comprise at least one third of the places on the governing bodies of all maintained schools in England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of parent governors of schools were (a) women, (b) men, (c) white and (d) of black and minority ethnic background in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (188398)

The Department does not collect information on the gender and ethnicity of the governing bodies of maintained schools.

We encourage all bodies engaged in recruiting new school governors to monitor the ethnic origin of the governors they appoint, but completion of any ethnic monitoring forms is always voluntary. However, all schools and local authorities are under a duty to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and promote equal opportunities.

Many schools will have pupils from black and minority ethnic groups, different faiths, refugees, or children with English as a second language. It is important that governing bodies include people who have the skills and abilities to drive forward school improvement from all racial and cultural backgrounds.