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Discussion in 'Governors' started by Middlemarch, Dec 4, 2011.
Who says you can't? Give us a bit more information.
Nowhere specific in mind. The difference in approach between different schools was just something I had picked up on. Claiming termly in arrears seems quite common but I have seen schools where you have just 2 weeks to claim and others where your "right" to claim depends entirely on the Chair (after you make your claim and paid out for petrol) and others where you have to OK making a claim with the Chair prior to the event.
Nothing wrong in itself with different GBs having different approaches but I think it's wrong for GBs to prevent governors being reimbursed reasonable out of pocket expenses. Expenses are often small, partiuclarly in urban areas where the school is literally at the end of the road for most governors, and when money is tight in schools many governors won't claim. However, when money is tight in schools it is for governors and their familes too and GBs shouldn't assume that no governors need their expenses reimbursing. This government, as with previous governments, believes governors should have their expenses reimbursed and shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it:
Having a limited period to submit expenses is normal in most organisations to manage cashflow and forecast expenditure, so I wouldn't see that as issue in itself but policies should be sufficiently clear that an individual governor knows whether the expense will be reimbursed before incurring the cost! Our Governors Expenses Policy makes a distinction between 'non-discretionary' expenses that all governors can potentially incur just be being a governor - like travel costs for getting to meetings - and 'discretionary' expenses like attending an external governors training course. The former needs no prior approval, just a claim form submitted to the school SAO. The latter type of expense does need to be controlled through some prior authorisation procedure. Approval by Chair is as good as any method I suppose, although our policy has it approved by Chair of Finance (as CoF should know whether there is money in the budget for it), with referral to CoG if there is disagreement.
You might be quite surprised at how many GB's don't have a policy at all - or don't bring it to the attention of new members - or have a policy that makes claiming any expenses at the sole discretion of the Chair. All of these I would regard as bad practice.
I probably wouldn't be ......!