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Dear Clare (and others): Dilema

Discussion in 'Governors' started by reilloc, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. I have been a governor at a local comprehensive (which converted to an Academy in June 2011) for just over 10 years. From 2003 to 2009, I was Chair and I am currently Vice-Chair and Chair of Finance and Staffing. I have always welcomed dialogue with staff, especially HoDs, HoYs and SMT members, whil;st being careful of the boundary between my role and that of the Headteacher. Over the years, the school has had difficulty in recruiting good Maths teachers amd so has a number of non-specialists (particularly from the SMT) teaching Mathematics lessons. When we have recruited it has often been through word of mouth, rather than advertisment.
    In June I completed a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics. For a variety of reasons (not related to my abilities as a beginning teacher), I have yet to find permanent employment. I am currently helping with Mathematics lessons (ranging from 1-2-1 through small groups to whole class teaching) as a volunteer at the school I am a governor at. I get on well with the team and have received very positive feedback about my relationship with the pupils and the impact I am having on their learning.
    The Head of Maths and the Headteacher have indicated that they would like to offer me a paid post but we have, so far, felt that there are obstacles to this happening. Firstly, I am trustee of the Academy and trustees cannot be employed by their charity. Secondly, as Chair of Governors, I have been involved in staff disciplinary panels, so I know confidential things about severeal staff members. Thirdly, I regard the headteacher as a friend (he attended my 40th Birthday bash and my wedding) and this could make achange in our working relationship difficult.
    The trustee issue is relatively easily dealt with - I can resign from the GB and as a trustee.
    The confidentiality issue is a bit trickier. My previous role, prior to teaching, involved dealing with confidential issues and I was a TU and staff rep, so was involved in disciplinary meetings, etc from the other isde. All teachers have to be trustworthy with confidential items. So is this issue insurmountable?
    With regard to the head being a friend, my boss from my last employer before retraining as a Teacher is also a friend - he too attended my 40th birthday and my wedding. Prior to being promoted to being my boss he was a colleague (actually technically junior to me). We managed to cope with our changing working relationship. Would me being employed at a friend's school be any different?
    I would welcome any thoughts. Does anyone know of someone going from Governor (especially ex-Chair) to Employee? Was it sucessful? Have we missed any other issues? Are we worrying aboy nothing?
     
  2. I have been a governor at a local comprehensive (which converted to an Academy in June 2011) for just over 10 years. From 2003 to 2009, I was Chair and I am currently Vice-Chair and Chair of Finance and Staffing. I have always welcomed dialogue with staff, especially HoDs, HoYs and SMT members, whil;st being careful of the boundary between my role and that of the Headteacher. Over the years, the school has had difficulty in recruiting good Maths teachers amd so has a number of non-specialists (particularly from the SMT) teaching Mathematics lessons. When we have recruited it has often been through word of mouth, rather than advertisment.
    In June I completed a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics. For a variety of reasons (not related to my abilities as a beginning teacher), I have yet to find permanent employment. I am currently helping with Mathematics lessons (ranging from 1-2-1 through small groups to whole class teaching) as a volunteer at the school I am a governor at. I get on well with the team and have received very positive feedback about my relationship with the pupils and the impact I am having on their learning.
    The Head of Maths and the Headteacher have indicated that they would like to offer me a paid post but we have, so far, felt that there are obstacles to this happening. Firstly, I am trustee of the Academy and trustees cannot be employed by their charity. Secondly, as Chair of Governors, I have been involved in staff disciplinary panels, so I know confidential things about severeal staff members. Thirdly, I regard the headteacher as a friend (he attended my 40th Birthday bash and my wedding) and this could make achange in our working relationship difficult.
    The trustee issue is relatively easily dealt with - I can resign from the GB and as a trustee.
    The confidentiality issue is a bit trickier. My previous role, prior to teaching, involved dealing with confidential issues and I was a TU and staff rep, so was involved in disciplinary meetings, etc from the other isde. All teachers have to be trustworthy with confidential items. So is this issue insurmountable?
    With regard to the head being a friend, my boss from my last employer before retraining as a Teacher is also a friend - he too attended my 40th birthday and my wedding. Prior to being promoted to being my boss he was a colleague (actually technically junior to me). We managed to cope with our changing working relationship. Would me being employed at a friend's school be any different?
    I would welcome any thoughts. Does anyone know of someone going from Governor (especially ex-Chair) to Employee? Was it sucessful? Have we missed any other issues? Are we worrying aboy nothing?
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I see no reason why you can't do it, for all the reasons you've said.
    What I will advise, however, is that your relationship with the head (and other governors) will change and it would be wise to discuss this with the head and get a few things straight between the two of you (if you proceed).
    The head will need to keep a very serious distance from you, both in and out of school and it's essential you both understand and agree that. You need to get clear in your mind that once you're a member of staff, you're subject to the same policies and 'rules' as all other staff, including disciplinary and competency procedures were they to prove necessary. The head needs to be able to show to the other staff that there is and will be no favouritism in this respect if he is to retain professional credibility with the rest of the staff (and not be challenged on fairness grounds by others).
     
  4. Thanks MM,

    I think that you articulate well the conclusion we are working towards!

    Richard
     
  5. I have not come across a similar circumstance. I don't believe the confidentiality issue is insurmountable - if you were to breach confidentiality then you could be subject to disciplinary arrangements. I would seek advice about the change from Trustee to staff member. You are right to say that as a Trustee you cannot (in most circumstances) be paid by the charity, but there is also something about not benefitting from your charitable association. Simply resigning as a Trustee would not necessarily remove the issue if it could be argued that your permanent staff position was obtained through your status as a Trustee. The Charity Commission has guidance on this issue - charity commission - payment to trustees. As I've said previously on this forum I am not a lawyer so you would need to seek formal advice.
    Clare Collins
     

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