1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Authority Governor-Bias in selection?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by stephanie_king, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Dear All,
    I'm governor at a Junior school in Dorset and some time ago we had a vacancy for an authority governor.
    The LA asked us to suggest someone which we duly did, a lady that was known to the school through her voluntary work in the past.
    A great candidate we thought. We knew her, she knows us and we know she's committed to the local community.
    The suggestion went forward via the LA to a local Labour Councillor for nomination, she rejected our suggestion and instead has decided to nominate someone else.
    We don't know the person the councillor has nominated but have discovered that he is a very good friend of the councillor and a fellow member of the Labour party!
    It has since become apparent that the councillor has rejected people in the past and instead nominated Labour colleagues and associates to authority governor vacancies.
    Now, I'm a strong believer that a governing body needs a good mix of people and I'd welcome people from all political backgrounds. I also believe that the body should not get drawn into party politics and should remain as neutral as possible.
    However, I am annoyed that a Councillor is obviously trying to use the governing bodies of local primary schools for political gain. I am concerned that there will be too much party influence within governing bodies in the local area. A mix of people on bodies is good, party 'stooges' on bodies are bad (In my opinion)
    Is there anything that can be done about this? The LA simply says that the Councillor can nominate whoever she wants and won't get drawn in to any discussions.
    Steph



     
  2. Dear All,
    I'm governor at a Junior school in Dorset and some time ago we had a vacancy for an authority governor.
    The LA asked us to suggest someone which we duly did, a lady that was known to the school through her voluntary work in the past.
    A great candidate we thought. We knew her, she knows us and we know she's committed to the local community.
    The suggestion went forward via the LA to a local Labour Councillor for nomination, she rejected our suggestion and instead has decided to nominate someone else.
    We don't know the person the councillor has nominated but have discovered that he is a very good friend of the councillor and a fellow member of the Labour party!
    It has since become apparent that the councillor has rejected people in the past and instead nominated Labour colleagues and associates to authority governor vacancies.
    Now, I'm a strong believer that a governing body needs a good mix of people and I'd welcome people from all political backgrounds. I also believe that the body should not get drawn into party politics and should remain as neutral as possible.
    However, I am annoyed that a Councillor is obviously trying to use the governing bodies of local primary schools for political gain. I am concerned that there will be too much party influence within governing bodies in the local area. A mix of people on bodies is good, party 'stooges' on bodies are bad (In my opinion)
    Is there anything that can be done about this? The LA simply says that the Councillor can nominate whoever she wants and won't get drawn in to any discussions.
    Steph



     
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    It's entirely at LA's discretion who and how they appoint LA governors so no there isn't anything you can do about it. Your GB has other options for making this person a govenor of course when the next Community Governor vacancy arises
    Precisely, and that's what I'd expect any LA's officers to say. It's a Members decision, there's nothing Officers can or will say about it. Practice varies widely between LAs about how "political" their appointment process is, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with the LA making "political" appointments. What I object to though is LA governors appointed this way who just want to add 'School Governor' to their Political CV and have no real interest in the school and rarely contribute anything to the GB, if they show up at all. We had one who was adept enough to turn up just often enough not to get removed for non-attendance otherwise we never saw him.
     
  4. Thanks for your reply.
    I must clarify that the LA aren't at fault here. They appear to be non political when it comes to these things. Indeed, their "advice" to nominating councillors is to make the decision based solely on the suitability of the candidate and not for political reasons.
    Having spoken to others in the area the councillor makes a habit of this. Vacancies remain open because he turns down perfectly good candidates while he searches for one from his own party.
    You are right about them just wanting to fill up their CVs! I object to it too! These politicians have lost sight of the fact that they are supposed to be doing this for the children!

     
  5. If you wait until September you should be able to reconstitute your Governing Body in line with the provisions of the Education Act 2011 which would enable you to have just a single LA Governor.
    The new Constitution regulations should be published by Easter and you will be able to consider how many LA Governors you do want.
    (You may be stuck with any incumbents until their term of office expires, surplus governors have previously been allowed to finish their terms but look out for the new regulations to check what they say.
     
  6. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Steph, Rottweiler is correct there is little you can do as all LA's have their own way at picking LA governors. Their power is untouchable in this area. However, whatever way it is it should in writing for you to see. Most large LA's have governance teams and area committees that make recommendations and then those recommendations come before the executive to rubber stamp.

    LA's in terms of politics should look at ward compositions of councillors and recommendations should reflect the various parties. However, more and more LA's are now placing non political appointments, in Manchester it is rumoured that they are going to place School Effectiveness Officers as LA appointed Governors.

    The real question is what position does this councillor hold that allows him to be the sole supremo of LA governor appointments as I have never heard of one person in control of such an important appointment process?
     
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    Good point Gadget. The Education Act also says that the regulations "may include provision for eligibility criteria for the school's local authority governor to be such as may be specified by the school's governing body" but we'll need to see what the regulations and guidance actually say to know what this will mean in practice.
     
  8. Dear Steph, thank you for your orignal post - I wonder whether you would post your example in a topic I've just begun "Pupils before politics" - along with any other thoughts you have about the subject. I believe your example is far from being alone - and that if we are serious about raising standards of Education in this country - then these types of practices, although they are totally above board, must be questioned - because they may be putting good people off from getting involved ?! or even worse - they may be having a negative effect on the Education of our Nation's children ?!
     
  9. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    I believe that the act comes into force on the 4th September 2012 and the new school governance constitution regulations are expected to be laid in Parliament during April to give affect to the Acts provision.
    I wonder if the provision for only one LA governor is Mr Gove wishing to further untie the control that Local Authorities have on School Governing bodies? And what will this mean to GB's. Do they plan for reconstitution before September?. If they have presently 3 LA governors on board what will happen to 2 of them? If they have an LA slot currently vacant is it worth the LA trying to fill it? Should GB's simply wait until September before doing anything as some LA's are up to speed on this and have been advising GB's to get ready?

     

Share This Page