HC Deb 17 December 1985 vol 89 c152
14. Mr. Gerald Howarth

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to ensure that elections of parent governors are fairly conducted; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chris Patten

Under section 2(9) of the Education Act 1980, responsibility for the conduct of elections of parent governors is for the local education authority, except in the case of aided and special agreement schools, where that is for the governors. Any contested election has to be by secret ballot, but otherwise LEAs and governing bodies are free to make what arrangements are appropriate to their particular local circumstances.

Mr. Howarth

Does not my hon. Friend agree that there should be provision to provide for a quorum of parents? Does he not also think it a good idea that notices of the elections for parent governors should be published in the annual report of the school, not only so that parents can be given plenty of warning, but so that they can choose suitable candidates?

Mr. Patten

The greater the clarity, and the longer the warning of the elections, the better.