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Governing board roles

Associate members

Explaining the role of associate members and why some boards choose to appoint them

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The NGA advice team often receives queries relating to associate members, sometimes referred to as ‘associate governors’. It is this incorrect term that can result in confusion as to their role and remit.

In maintained schools the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012 apply. The term ‘associate member’ is not used in academy articles of association, but a provision usually exists to appoint to a similar role (talk to your governance professional).

In this article, first featured in NGA’s Governing Matters membership magazine, Rani Kaur, NGA's senior advice officer, provides advice on the role of associate members.​

The article covers:

  • why boards appoint associate members
  • voting rights and other technicalities
  • alternatives to appointing an associate member

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