An associate pupil governor is a registered pupil nominated by their school council to be a member of the governing body.

School councils in maintained secondary schools can nominate up to two pupils from years 11, 12 and 13 from its council members. Maintained schools are schools which are funded and controlled by the local authority.

The governing body must accept any pupil nominated by the school council and appoint them as an associate pupil governor (as long as they are a registered pupil from years 11, 12 or 13).

The role of associate pupil governors

As part of the governing body, the role of associate pupil governors is to represent the ‘voice of pupils’.

School governing bodies must consider any matter communicated to them by their school council.

As an associate pupil governor you can make sure your views are taken meaningfully into account by taking part in important conversations about the school.

Associate pupil governors can influence many aspects of school life and policy, such as:

  • uniform
  • anti-bullying
  • sex education
  • the curriculum
  • standards of teaching and learning
  • pupil mental health and wellbeing
  • healthy schools
  • other whole school initiatives and projects

Associate pupil governors may be excluded from governing body discussions on some topics, for example about: staff appointments, staff discipline, pupil discipline, budget and financial commitments of the governing body.


Associate pupil governors can attend all governors’ meetings that are not considered confidential.

Each governing body sets its own meeting schedule, however the minimum requirement is one full governing body meeting per term.

Although pupils cannot vote at these meetings, the governing body may decide to include associate pupil governors as members of non-statutory (meaning they are not required by law) committees and grant them voting rights for these.

Meetings usually take place in the evening after school; so pupils must make sure they can get home safely afterwards.

Some schools can create a blended approach to meetings, where governors can join online (check with your school’s headteacher – search our schools list to find contact details).


You can email to book a training place.

As an associate pupil governor you are not required by law to complete the Governor Induction or Data training, but you can if you wish.

Code of conduct

As an associate pupil governor you are expected to abide by the Governors Code of Conduct and you may be removed as a governor if you breach the code, or other duties.

How long can you be an associate pupil governor for?

Associate pupil governors hold office for one year, but you can be re-appointed for a further term (meaning one school year) as long as you are still a member of the school council.

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