Case study 14

Mr Williams, a teacher governor, had been asked to leave the meeting as the governing body were discussing an issue, in respect of which Mr Williams had a conflict of interest. The chair then queried with the clerk whether or not the meeting was quorate in order to make a decision on the agenda item.

The governing body is made up of 18 governors including the headteacher, who is a governor. There are two vacancies and one governor on suspension. There were eight governors in attendance at the meeting, including Mr Williams.

Regulation 46 of The Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 states that the quorum for a meeting of the governing body and for any vote on any matter at such a meeting is one half (rounded up to a whole number) of the membership of the governing body excluding any vacancies and any governors suspended from that meeting.

Governor vacancies and suspended governors are not included in the quorum. This means the quorum for any full meeting of this Governing Body is 8 (i.e. 18 – 2 vacancies and 1 suspension = 15 ÷ 2 = 7.5, rounded up to 8).

If Mr Williams is required to withdraw from the meeting then this means there are only 7 governors in attendance – the meeting is therefore no longer quorate since there are no longer 8 members of the Governing Body in attendance at that point. Any decision in relation to this issue will therefore need to be taken at a time when additional governors are present to ensure a quorum is in place to account for Mr Williams’ withdrawal.