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Clerk to the governors - limiting the role

Discussion in 'Governors' started by chriszwinter1, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Can anyone please point me to the legislation on the role of the clerk to the governors? A clerk has convinced the GB to appoint her as an employee of the trust and has written her own job description.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There are a limited number of statutory functions listed in paragraph 9 of the Procedures Regulations but most responsibilities will be wrapped up in the final one "perform such other functions as shall be determined by the governing body from time to time".

    The School Governance (Procedures) (England) Regulations 2003

    These will change slightly in the new Regulations from September.

    It's the governing body's responsibility to decide what "other functions" it wants the clerk to do and appoint them on that basis. If the clerk is an employee then a job description is probably the best way to do it. Of course the GB should write the JD, not the clerk, but if the GB has failed to do this I wouldn't criticise the clerk for proposing one to them, there's a number of good models around.
  3. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Your scenario might sound a bit strange but nothing wrong is being done and it appears that the clerk is saving the GB from a task that they should be doing themselves and at the same time cemeting the position for the clerk.

    Unfortunately, the regulations for school governance fall silent on many areas and when they do it is up to a governing body to decide (rather like a bye law). RW refers to the new 2013 Regs that are due to come out in September where I suspect there will be even less regulations than the 2003 version.
  4. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Thank you for your replies, and for the references. I should have pointed out in the original post that the individual concerned wishes to do other things beyond clerking the full GB and any committees, and this includes chairing various committees. She is NOT a member of the GB.
  5. grrmummy

    grrmummy New commenter

    Ouch. That sounds painful.

    The most obvious question for me is why has the GB not drafted a JD and PS and then sought to employ the right person. What you describe sounds a nightmare to me. A good clerk is essential to a GB and I am a strong believer in professionalising their role rather than leaving them to make it up as they go along which (it sounds to me) could happen in the situation you describe.

    I would say that it is up to the GB to get a grip. There is not a lot in the regulations but IMO If there is a sense of unease this really should be discussed.

    A website packed with heaps of helpful and professional advice is clerktogovernors.wordpress.com/articles

    Hope it works out
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    A committee of the GB must only contain governors or associate members (others - staff eg - can be invited to attend and particpate but aren't members). I don't see how the chair of a committee can be someone who isn't a member of it.

    The real problem here sounds like a weak GB who aren't managing their clerk.
  7. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Thank you, grrmummy and Rott Weiler, for your informative and detailed replies. We've been ploughing through legislation with a view to nipping this in the bud. I appreciate your help.
  8. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    No that you have filled us in a bit more, you can't have clerks chairing committees. This now sounds quiet messy. They are either a clerk or member of your governing body. Is this individual in some way an employee of the school? For completely clean lines I have always believed that the best clerk a governing body can have is one that is completely independent of the school.

    The clerk should not simply be somebody that is only capable of just taking minutes. If this individual is not a trained clerk, has no qualifications, has not clerked schools elsewhere, is not independent of the school, I would consider a different solution. A good/ outstanding clerk is a jewel in the crown of a good/outstanding GB.
  9. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Have sent you a PM, montiagh.
  10. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    No I haven't sent a PM.
  11. revstevew

    revstevew New commenter

    The only time the Clerk to Governors should chair a meeting is the very first meeting of the School Year, before the Chair of governors is elected. Once that election takes place, normally the first or second item of business, then the Chair of Governors takes the chair, and the various other roles would be elected / appointed. I've sat on 2 GB's, and never heard of the Clerk being a member or having the powers of Chair

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