A casual vacancy is created when an elected, co-opted or appointed trustee is no longer on the board for a range of reasons.
- parent and staff trustees hold office for 3 years and a student trustee holds office for 1 year, unless they are no longer on the board for one of the reasons below
- if an elected trustee leaves the board before their term of office is up this creates a “casual vacancy”
- how a casual vacancy is filled depends on the type of elected trustee position involved, but it can never be filled by co-option or appointment.
- the board must fill a casual vacancy unless an exception applies
- the replacement trustee’s term of office will be for the remainder of the vacating trustee’s term.
When a casual vacancy ‘arises’
The following are the most usual reasons for a casual vacancy:
- Elected trustee:
- resigns in writing to the board
- is absent from three consecutive board meetings without the board’s “prior leave”. (This is different from the trustee giving apologies)
- is no longer eligible to be a trustee for a financial or other reason in sections 103 or 103A, Education Act 1989
- a staff trustee leaves the school
- a student trustee leaves the school or ceases to be a full time student
- Fewer nominations than the number of positions to be filled (in an election or by-election).
Note: if fewer than 3 trustees are elected in a triennial election, then filling the casual vacancies may not be an option if the Secretary of Education appoints a Commissioner
Filling casual vacancies for elected trustees
How the casual vacancy is filled depends on the type of elected trustee involved.
- Casual vacancy flowchart: Overview
- Casual vacancy flowchart: parent trustee
- Eligibility declaration form must be signed before the board selects someone to fill a parent trustee casual vacancy
- A guide to board constitution and filling parent trustee casual vacancies
- Casual vacancy: staff trustee
- For help, call Advisory and Support Centre 0800 782 435, option 1.