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Dear Clare - staff governor question

Discussion in 'Governors' started by *Emmsie*, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Hi there,
    I'm just wondering if there are any circumstances under which staff governors can be asked to leave a FGB so the remaining Governors can discuss something without them present?
    Staff governors were recently asked (or more bluntly, told) to leave the FGB whilst the panel for the HT's performance management was appointed/elected.
    Whilst I accept that staff are not allowed (nor would it be appropriate for them) to be on the panel, but was it correct that staff were not even allowed to be present at the discussion / election?
    I have read that the 'Governing Body' is responsible for appointing the panel but I can't find anywhere that says that staff governors can not even be present whilst it is discussed. When I queried it I was told that staff were not allowed, according to LA regulations, to even be present whilst the panel was appointed but this doesn't sound right to me. I would appreciate the official line on this.
    Thank you.
  2. I am a staff governor, and I have never been asked to leave when the members of the panel was elected. I agree that we should not be on the panel, but it seems odd not to know who is on the panel as you can find out the result anyway when the minutes are circulated. I was present when our panel was elected, and so were the other staff governors.
    Why don't you contact your local governor help line. They are excellent.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    This sounds like an overzealous interpretatuion of the regulations by someone - the GB or the clerk or the LA. The regulations say that staff governors cannot be present during the "consideration or discussion" of the head's (or any staff member's) "pay or performance appraisal". I can't see how this covers electing the PM panel itself but someone at your GB obviously thinks it does. Perhaps they went on to discuss something more than just the panel membership?
  4. Thanks for your replies. The Chair allowed us back into the room as soon as they'd had their discussion and appointed the panel and told us immediately who had been appointed. Surely as a governor I should have been entitled to vote for the panel along with my colleague who is the non-teaching staff governor?
    I was really quite put out by the way we were told to leave with no explanation and when I questioned why we couldn't stay we were told 'staff governors are not allowed to stay'. The Head was also told to leave whilst they appointed the panel. Another non-staff governor protested and said we should be allowed to stay and was also told that we were not allowed. If this is the correct procedure I'll happily get back in my box and leave it at that, but I have a feeling they were wrong to have sent us out and would like to take it up with the Chair if this is the case.
    Look forward to any further info!
  5. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I think Rotty's post above says it all, really ...
  6. I am not sure what you mean by LA Regulations as the only relevant Regulations are those set down by statutory instrument. In this case the relevant Regulations are the School Governance (Procedures) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended also in 2003 by SI 1916/2003). Regulation 14 states that if a governor has a conflict of interest then the governor should declare it leave the room and not vote. The Schedule to the Regulations specifically covers the issue of staff governors and the pay and appraisal of other members of staff and states:
    "where a relevant person who is paid to work at the school other than as head teacher is present at a meeting of the school at which a subject of consideration is the pay or performance appraisal of any particular person employed to work at the school...the relevant person's interests shall be treated...as being in conflict with the governing body"
    I think the Regulation is open to interpretation. The strictest interpretation of this Regulation would be that members of staff should not be present when the conversation in any way relates to the pay and appraisal of another member of staff and this could be taken to mean the choice of governors to sit on the head's performance appraisal panel. I suspect it was not meant to be read in this strict way and was intended to cover actual discussions about the performance and pay award, but I am not a lawyer.
    Having said that Regulation 14 also states that if there is a dispute about whether a governor has a conflict of interest then the other governors present at the meeting can determine the issue by vote.
    Clare Collins

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