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Dear Stephen , Chair and Vice Chair telling untruths

Discussion in 'Governors' started by samtheman, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. It is always difficult to respond to such queries because inevitably there is limited information to go on and the details of the conversations are understandably not available. There appear to be multiple issues here: the behavior of the headteacher towards staff, the relationship between the headteacher and the chair and vice chair of governors and the relationship of the chair and vice chair to the governing body as a whole.
    You say that concerns were raised and refuted, but it is not clear on what basis this happened - i.e. were specific instances of the head's alleged poor behavior to staff raised or just a general concern about the way he treats staff? Has there been a full investigation of the complaints? I appreciate that when relationships are difficult and staff feel intimidated no individual staff member may wish to submit a grievance, but that is the formal option and would require an investigation.
    In relation to the election of the chair and vice chair the Procedures Regulations 2003 (as amended) make clear that those standing for election must leave the room, but leaves the rest open to the governing body. It is important that governing bodies have set procedures for the election of chairs and vice chairs, which should be by secret ballot. Although the procedure you describe does not sound like best practice you haven't actually said why you think it was ‘rigged'. For example, how many candidates stood for election and were conversations had with other governors which leads you/governors to think that other candidates should have won?
    If members of the governing body are unhappy with the chair and vice chair then there are procedures for removing them - as already described in other responses to this post. Likewise the issue of academy status - to apply there has to be a resolution of the governing body. If the other members of the governing body do not support conversion then they need to vote against it when it is brought to the vote.
    Not surprisingly, I concur with other posts about the position of the clerk. In the NGA's view it is essential that the governing body appoints a professional, independent clerk. In this context I would draw attention to the NGA Governance Awards and particularly the outstanding clerk to the governing body award. Nominations are invited from all state funded schools by 17 December 2012. This is a real opportunity to celebrate outstanding practice so anyone with a clerk your clerk who fits the bill please do nominate her/him.
    NGA Awards.
    Stephen Adamson
     
  2. " ..were specific instances of the head's alleged poor behavior to staff raised or just a general concern about the way he treats staff? "
    Yes - individual Govs were spoken to by members of staff , the C of G was then informed and went to the HT. It was then reported by a member of SLT that the HT had said he would" speak to his staff as he wished!" (This included shouting at and reducing them to tears, tellimg them they are "****" and if they want to hand in their notice, no questions will be asked and a glowing ref given!)
    "Has there been a full investigation of the complaints?"
    Matters were reported to Unions involved, a meeting between HT and Unions took place and all points raised were refuted by both HT and Cof G and Vice C of G. Subsequently a multi Unions meeting was held to allow other members of staff to come forward - a reasonable turn out , some points of grievance were unanimously substanciated others denied and ignorance of some behaviours ignored and denied. Human Resources were present at the meeting with the HT.
    .."how many candidates stood for election and were conversations had with other governors which leads you/governors to think that other candidates should have won? "
    2 stood for C of G - 6 voted - I know that 3 definitely (having spoken to fellow govs) voted for Candidate A - possibly 4 - and yet there was no tie and Candidate B ( the previous C of G) was elected. Likewise with the Vice C of G election.
    I am not sure where to go now - the school is heading for Academy status within the next 2 years. I am not sure that I want to be part of anything shady which is how it feels to me, but if I do not attempt to bring events out into the open then I feel I am condoning these behavious.
    Please advise.
     
  3. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    If you have sufficient like minded governors as yourself, you could opt for the removal of the chair/vice chair (see below), bearing in mind procedure 11 (4) and seven clear days. Do bear in mind if you do take this road to seriously consider who the replacements are likely to be?

    The School Governance (Procedures) (England) Regulations 2003

    2003 No. 1377 PART 2 Regulation 7

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/1377/regulation/7/made


    Removal of the chair or vice-chair from office

    7.?(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the governing body may by resolution remove the chair from office, unless he has been nominated by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 18 of the 1998 Act.

    (2) Subject to paragraph (3), the governing body may by resolution remove the vice-chair from office.

    (3) A resolution to remove the chair or vice-chair from office shall not have effect unless the matter is specified as an item of business on the agenda for the meeting, of which notice has been given in accordance with regulation 11(4).

    (4) Before the governing body resolve to remove the chair or the vice-chair from office, the governor proposing his removal shall at that meeting state his reasons for doing so and the chair or vice-chair (as the case may be) shall be given an opportunity to make a statement in response, before withdrawing from the meeting.
     

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