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Can staff sit on governors' meetings?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by cleobud, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    I am a Head and wondered if a staff member can attend governors' meetings? We have a staff governor who is a member of support staff, but no Deputy Head and I have known DHs to attend with the Head.
  2. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Anyone can attend a governors meeting (by agreement) and anyone on staff can be a governor (by agreement ) unless there are restrictions (a MAT may object ).
    nomad likes this.
  3. mbee1

    mbee1 New commenter

    I'm Chair and our DH generally attends all meetings although she isn't a Governor. She inputs as necessary but, of course, doesn't have a vote and sometimes has to leave the meeting if we discuss staffing. Other staff have attended at our invitation, for example, the IT lead attended a finance meeting when we were discussing IT provision in school and we recently had the PE leads in but, generally, I'm of the opinion that staff shouldn't attend as a matter of course.
  4. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Why shouldn't staff attend as a matter of course?
    Bumptious and Pomza like this.
  5. mbee1

    mbee1 New commenter

    Why should they unless they’re a staff Governor? Can’t see the logic.
  6. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. I don't have a Deputy as we are too small a school and would like a staff member to be present. If it is expected that a Deputy can attend every meeting, why couldn't I have another teacher attend?
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It isn't expected that the DH will attend @cleobud. In many schools the governing body does invite DH to attend, but that's entirely at the discretion of the governors. Governors, the head and the clerk have a legal right to attend Governing Body meetings in LA schools. No-one else. In academies the rules are similar, usually it's up to the Academy trust who else is invited.

    What's the purpose of DH/another staff member attending? Because they have something to contribute that they can do better than the head can? For their professional development? To give the head moral support?

    I agree with @mbee1 , staff shouldn't attend GB meetings except the head and staff governors. It's good that subject leads are invited to attend from time to time but I'd expect them to come in, make their presentation or whatever they've been invited to do, then leave.
    nomad likes this.
  8. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    It is a genuine question:
    Why shouldn't staff (other than staff governors) attend governor meetings?

    I understand the confidential issues surrounding staff pay, performance etc but they can always leave at this point.
    install and Bumptious like this.
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I can certainly see the point of deputies attending regularly. If they find themselves having to step in to the head's role, their experience with governors will be valuable for the school. As for other staff attending, in a small school I can see it working and being useful for everyone. Attending those meetings that are of particular relevance to their role seems the best idea. Does the OP want a particular teacher to attend or would they like other staff members, perhaps on a rota, to be present. The other govs would benefit from getting to know them in that context I would think. If the OP does want a particular teacher to attend can they be co opted - I've forgotten if that is an option.
  10. mbee1

    mbee1 New commenter

    Totally agree with Rott Weiler. You have a staff Governor for a reason. Other staff should only attend at the discretion of the Governors and for a purpose. Our HT asked if the DH could attend for her personal development and we agreed. She contributes as necessary, particularly on attendance and teaching and learning and leaves the room as necessary.
  11. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    I should have said that my staff governor is support staff and also a parent, I would like a teacher to be present as I don't have a Deputy. Would co-opted be an option?
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If you are a local authority school then one of the categories of governors is Co-opted Governor, someone appointed as a governor by the governing body who is (formally) "... a person who is appointed as a governor by the governing body and who, in the opinion of the governing body, has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school". ie if a teacher were made a Co-opted governor they aren't there for their own professional development or to support the head, it's about what they can contribute.

    That's if the governing body wants to co-opt a teacher and if there is a Co-opted vacancy.

    The underlying issue seems to be in part that no teachers stood as Staff Governor when there was last an SG election and you wish they had. The governors may feel that's not really their concern. When the SG comes up for election again it's in staff hands to do something about it.

    Have you discussed it with the Chair? What's their view? Maybe they are happy for another staff member to accompany you to meetings. But you need to be clear what the purpose is.
  13. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    Staff governor was appointed before my time but I know there were no teachers from the time of appointment who were staying on at the school in the next academic year so this was probably the reason.
  14. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I hope the Staff Governor was elected, rather than appointed.
  15. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    We used to have a staff governor and a support staff governor until the rules changed and there could only be one staff rep on the governors. The support staff rep was co-opted on because of their expertise in special needs otherwise I don't think the governors would have bothered.
  16. mbee1

    mbee1 New commenter

    I believe you can only co opt if there is a co opted vacancy. Look at your constitution and discuss it with the clerk. Apart from the LA Governor, parent Governors and staff all our members are now co opted which makes it easier to appoint where there is a vacancy, subject to a skills audit. I would encourage staff who are parents to stand as a parent governor giving
  17. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    Thank you for the replies. Our support staff governor who is a parent works more than 500 hours so can't be a parent governor. I'm dubious about whether the support staff member was actually nominated and elected by staff but I suppose I will need to wait until the re-election time is due.

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