1. DETAILS OF THE NORFOLK SCHOOLS FORUM

1.1 The Norfolk Schools Forum is a consultative body representing those with an interest in school funding issues.

1.2 The Regulations describe the activities on which the Forum must be consulted as:

- school funding formula

- service contracts funded from school budgets

- financial issues

ie:

a) the arrangements to be made for the education of pupils with special educational needs;

b) arrangements for the use of pupil referral units and the education of children otherwise than at school;

c) arrangements for insurance;

d) prospective revisions to the relevant authority’s scheme for the financing of schools;

e) administrative arrangements for the allocation of central government grants paid to schools via the relevant authority;

f) arrangements for free school meals;

Education Acts also conferred additional powers on Schools Forums, these being

a) to agree minor changes to the operation of the Minimum Funding Guarantee;

b) to agree an increase in the Capital Expenditure Limit;

c) to agree the amounts of funding retained as central expenditure under five areas:

  • school specific contingency for the purposes of making in-year adjustments to school budget shares;
  • funding for combined services;
  • funding for servicing the costs of a prudential borrowing scheme;
  • funding for premature retirement and redundancy costs;
  • SEN Transport costs.

d) to approve changes to the Local Scheme for Financing Schools.

1.3 The members of the Forum are primary and secondary school Headteachers, governors representing the primary and secondary sectors including academies, a Headteacher or governor from special schools and a Headteacher or governor from nursery schools, a representative from academies and representatives from the Norwich Diocesan Board of Education, the Roman Catholic Church Diocese, the Joint Consultative Negotiating Committee, the Joint Consultative Committee Teachers' Panel, the private, voluntary and independent providers of nursery education for three and four year olds and the local authority 14-19 Partnership.

1.4 The term of office on the forum is 4 years.

1.5 The Forum meets an average of seven times a year. The venue is Mattishall near Norwich area and the meetings may be in the morning or the afternoon usually either Wednesdays or Fridays.

1.6 The process for electing governors to the Norfolk Schools Forum must conform to The Schools Forum (England) Regulations 2010. To comply with changes to these regulations from September 2012 it was decided by the Norfolk County Council Cabinet in June 2012 that the governor membership on the Norfolk Schools Forum will be 2 secondary governors and 4 primary governors from Local Authority maintained schools and 1 Academy governor. The special school member and the nursery school member can be either Headteachers or governors.

1.7 Under the regulations every possible eligible member of a constituency, except Academy members, has the opportunity to be involved in the determination of their groups’ selection process and given the opportunity to stand for election if they choose to do so. Thus in Norfolk all governors must be given the opportunity to be consulted on the process of election and then be given the opportunity to stand if they wish. For Academy members the regulations state that they must be elected to the schools forum by the governing bodies of the Academies in the authority's area.

1.8 The Norfolk Governors’ Network (NGN) is responsible for overseeing elections for governors to the Forum. The NGN County Committee has delegated the NGN Structure Sub-Committee to undertake this.

2. CONDUCT OF ELECTION

2.1 NGN is responsible for overseeing the election of primary, secondary and Academy governors to the Norfolk Schools Forum.

2.2 The rules to be followed for the election are given below. NGN reserves the right to amend these rules in exceptional circumstances, and governors will be told the reason for these actions being taken.

3. ELECTORATE

3.1 Only governors from primary schools are eligible to vote for primary governor members.

3.2 Only governors from secondary schools are eligible to vote for secondary governor members.

3.3 Only Academy governing bodies are eligible to vote for Academy governor members.

3.4 If a governor member is needed for Special Schools or nursery schools the election procedure will be followed involving only the governors at Special Schools or nursery schools.

4. DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTION MATERIAL

4.1 In order to give every assistance to all governors to take part in the election, the NGN undertakes the distribution of election material through e-courier, the standard means for communicating with governing bodies. Governing bodies are expected to play their part by ensuring that governors are informed of the election. The return of election material will be by email or post. Governors and Academy governing bodies are responsible for the return of election material safely and on time. In particular it should be noted that no election will be invalid by the failure of any notice of election, nomination paper or ballot paper to reach its destination in due time.

5. NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

5.1 NGN will publicise the vacancy (ies) for secondary and/or primary and/or Academy governor members by Management Information (MI) sheet on e-courier for the attention of the chair of governors inviting nominations (with ‘pen portrait’ of up to 100 words) within 6 working weeks. See below for sample version of the nomination form.

5.2 Nominations to be returned, in standard format, to clerk of NGN from chair/clerk of governors via email, submitted via NGN website or by post.

5.3 Governors who have been members of the Schools Forum can stand for re election.

5.4 No more than one governor can be elected to the Schools Forum from the same governing body.

6. ELECTIONS

6.1 If by the time fixed for delivery of nomination papers, the NGN has received duly completed nomination forms no greater in number than the number of available vacancies, the candidate(s) so nominated shall be declared duly elected. At that time any remaining vacancy(ies) will be filled with a governor(s) appointed by NGN Structure Sub-Committee.

6.2 If an election is necessary, the NGN will prepare ballot papers see item 7.

7. ISSUE AND RETURN OF BALLOT PAPERS

7.1 NGN will publish information about elections and voting procedures by MI sheet on e-courier for the attention of all governors. Votes to be returned within 6 working weeks to clerk of NGN by email, submitted via NGN website or by post. For all governors, except those at Academies, they have a single vote and will have to declare the name of their governing body when voting. For Academies each governing body has a single vote and will have to declare the name of their school when voting. Governors and Academy governing bodies are only eligible to vote for nominees in their category, for instance primary school governors can only vote in elections for primary governor members for the Schools Forum. See below for a sample of ballot form.

7.2 Governing bodies are expected to play their part by ensuring that all governors are informed of the election.

8. HOLDING THE ELECTION

8.1 Elections will take place annually in the Autumn Term, if such vacancies exist, so that nominees can take up their posts from 1st January of the following year. Rules for dealing with vacancies that occur outside this time period are given below.

8.2 That if a further vacancy occurs within 12 months of an election and there are unsuccessful nominees from that ballot in the appropriate group then the person who satisfies the criteria and has the highest number of votes will be appointed, otherwise a substitute(s) will attend.

9 COUNTING BALLOT PAPERS

9.1 The NGN Structure Sub-Committee will count the ballot papers.

9.2 The chair of the NGN shall determine the validity of any ballot paper and any vote recorded on that ballot paper. A candidate or candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to the vacancy or vacancies.

9.3 If there is a tie between two or more candidates, the candidate from the least represented geographical area of the five areas of Norfolk will be elected. If there is still a tie it will be decided by ‘names drawn out of a hat’.

10. DECLARATION OF RESULTS AND OBJECTIONS

10.1 Clerk to NGN will notify successful candidates and inform the Local Authority of the elected governor members via the clerk to the Schools Forum.

10.2 The results of the election will be published via e-courier and will appear on the NGN and Local Authority websites for a period of 14 days from the "date of the election". During this period any candidate may object to the result of the election. Any such objection must be in writing and must state the grounds upon which the objection is made. Objections shall be addressed to the Chair of the NGN County Committee who will refer them to the Election Sub-Committee established under this procedure.

10.3 The clerk to NGN shall retain a record of the number of votes for each candidate and of the number of invalid votes. The clerk to NGN shall at the conclusion of the count place all rejected votes in a sealed envelope until the period for objection has elapsed or until any objection has been resolved, whichever is the longer. Ballot papers shall be retained for a period of six months in a secure place.

11. ELECTION SUB COMMITTEE

11.1 If required an Election Sub-Committee will be appointed by the Chair of the NGN County Committee made up from a minimum of three members of the NGN County Committee who have not been involved in the election process. The Sub-Committee shall have power to determine all matters referred to it by the Chair of the NGN County Committee including declaring an election invalid and ordering a further election. Subject to paragraph 11.2 the Sub-Committee shall be entitled to disregard any irregularity in the conduct of the election if having considered all the circumstances they think it fair and reasonable to do so.

11.2 If the Sub-Committee find that any breach of the secrecy of the ballot has occurred, they shall declare the result invalid and order a further election unless they are satisfied that the breach(es):

i. occurred by accident and is / are unlikely to have affected the result of the election

or

ii. occurred by reason of circumstances outside the control of those conducting the election

12. FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR GOVERNOR REPRESENTATIVES

12.1 A vacancy will occur for a governor member when their term of office is completed, they resign or they cease to be a governor.

12.2 Governors have a vital role in the work of the Schools Forum. If a governor member cannot attend a meeting of the Schools Forum they must contact the clerk of the NGN to arrange for a substitute to attend. Unsuccessful candidates can be put on the substitute list if they wish.

12.3 Elected governor members will use the NGN communication strategy tocollect the views of and to inform governors.

13. SAMPLE NOMINATION AND BALLOT PAPERS

13.1 Below is a sample nomination paper for a governor member on the Norfolk Schools Forum. This can be printed off and returned by post to the NGN Clerk, details to be supplied, or the completed form can be sent via email to the NGN Clerk - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Name of School Example Primary School

Type of school

Primary or Secondary

Primary

Name of Chair of Governors or clerk returning the

nomination(please state which)

Ms Ann Other

Chair of Governors

Name of Nominee Mr Fred Bloggs
Address of Nominee

4 The Street

Norwich

NR6 5BB

Telephone number and email address of nominee

if applicable

01603 123456

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Date submitted 20 Sept 2006

Brief pen portrait (100 words maximum)

I have been a governor at Example Primary School for 5 years. In this time I have been involved in the Finance Committee and in a recent Ofsted Inspection as well as the appointment of a deputy Headteacher. I have two children, one who is at a Primary school and one at a High school. I work in Local Government and have a particular interest in Finance. I have time to attend meetings and want a better understanding of how the financial decisions are made for schools.

 

13.2 Below is a sample ballot paper for the election of governor members on the Norfolk Schools Forum. Governors may vote from the NGN website www.ngn.org.uk or this ballot paper can be printed off and returned by post to Clerk to NGN, details to be supplied.

The candidates have supplied information about themselves.

the governor who is casting their vote must include the name of the school at which they are a governor; without that information  this ballot paper is invalid.

Each *Primary governor/Secondary governor/Academy governing body is entitled to vote for any *one/ two/ three/ four of the following candidates by placing X in the box at the side of the name. Please do not sign this paper or mark it in any other way, as to do so may make your vote invalid.

* delete as appropriate

The  governor voting in this ballot is a governor at;(give name of school in capital letters)

 

Names of candidate Place vote in this column
Fred Bloggs
Sarah Castle
John Smith
Cathy Walker

If voting by post:

No other note or letter should be included with this ballot paper.

Ballot papers not returned in sealed envelopes will be invalid.

Envelopes may contain multiple ballot papers.

Please make sure your vote is received not later than date to be supplied