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Dear Stephen - different ways to Chair and manage the Gov body

Discussion in 'Governors' started by greenwoodle, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Due to a number of reasons I have decided to stand down as Chair of our Governing Body. There is no one who wishes to become Chair due to time commitments. Our Vice Chair is remaining in post however does not want to step up to Chair.
    Firstly what happens if no one agrees to be Chair?
    Can the role of Chair be shared by a few people? Not sure how this would work with Chairs power to act etc
    Are there examples of alternative ways of working / organsiation?
    Any advice gratefully received
     
  2. Due to a number of reasons I have decided to stand down as Chair of our Governing Body. There is no one who wishes to become Chair due to time commitments. Our Vice Chair is remaining in post however does not want to step up to Chair.
    Firstly what happens if no one agrees to be Chair?
    Can the role of Chair be shared by a few people? Not sure how this would work with Chairs power to act etc
    Are there examples of alternative ways of working / organsiation?
    Any advice gratefully received
     
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Assuming you are an LA school the LA will appoint one.
     
  4. Ooh thats interesting! So is that someone brought in from the outside?
     
  5. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Greenwoodle. All gbs have to have a chair. If you resign as chair your vc automatically becomes chair until you appoint a new one. It is rare but some gbs have experimented with shared/ alternate chairs, but you would need a degree of creativity in achieving this as you will always need a named chair. However, I don't think this is a good idea for continuity. You could ask your LA for assistance or The School Governors One Stop Shop (www.sgoss.org.uk) who may have a chair in waiting to be parachuted in.
     
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No they won't. The LA has no power to do any such thing. Unless they decide that your GB has become dysfunctional then the the LA can remove all of you and appoint an IEB. The LA appoints the IEB chair.
     
  7. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Surely a GB without anyone willing to be a Chair is dysfunctional ...
     
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Not necessarily. 'Dysfunctional' is my shorthand, the exact circumstances are defined in schools causing concern statutory guidance. Anyway the LA can't in any circumstances appoint a chair to the GB from outside, it can only abolish the GB and replace it with an IEB. I don't think greenwoodle is looking for advice on how to abolish his/her GB.
     
  9. staxis

    staxis New commenter



    Whatever happens,
    it is not your problem. If you feel you cannot continue as Chair, you should
    step down. You would be doing nobody any favours by continuing - least of all
    yourself. It is a matter for the rest of the GB to sort out.


    There is a lesson
    here though, the importance of succession planning. If the GB as a whole do not
    take it seriously then they can end up having problems.

     
  10. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    In exceptional circumstances the Secretary of state for Education can also put a chair in place, but again that has no connection to your plight. Could you not arrange a special meeting of your GB with the sole agenda item of solving who chairs next?
     
  11. When i took on the chair last year I said i would do it for a year and see how it went. I have realised that I can not do the job i want to do as it is eating into my family and work life. I like to do things properly and I am not doing any of it right now!
    Unfortunately my VC is in the same situation and everyone else has realised how much is involved. Many of the GB are also new in post and don't feel they have the experience.
    We are a good GB and have recently been inspected and Ofsted have rated us as Good and so although occasionally challenging we are not dysfunctional so not looking for IEB.
    We have Full govs next week and part of that meeting will be looking at the Chair. The VC will chair that meeting and then they can take it from there. As it has been said its not my problem, but it was never my intention for it all to implode.
    Re succession planning, it is important but only works if everyone else is prepared to give it a go. We have lots who will do bits i nthe background but noone who is willing to step upto the mark. May be worth contacting the one stop shop to see if they have anyone though
     
  12. Since last nights post things have become a bit of a challenge. One of the last things I was going to get in place was a strategic development plan. Anyway this has now gone to the head and she disagrees big time with it, saying it is unachievable. She was involved but as we have not agreed with her suggestions she and her staff are not happy. It sets out the Governors aims for the next few years and sets some challenging targets. The Head is not happy and feels I am stirring then disappearing. This is not the case. i am trying to get some clear guidelines in place so that there is no blurring of roles once I have gone. I believe this could all blow up big time. I have made it clear that it is a draft for discussion and change and agreement.
    Can the Head say she believes the Govs are dysfunctional and get the LA in for advice? There are some very strong Governors and she can be very stubborn. Things could just reach stalemate.
     
  13. Thats the plan (to discuss at FG), but they aren't happy with that as they think the achievement figures we have set are too high. i have explained that is a democracy and that they will have the right to produce counter arguments for debate. I have aslo explained that targets have to be a challenge there is no point just coasting along. Even if they don't get there, the journey is part of it.
    The way the HT has managed it today has not been professional and i am now very pleased I have decided not to continue.
     
  14. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Life as a Chair is not easy. You have to steer a steady ship and avoid some icebergs. It sounds to me that you will be a loss to the school. With you out of the way the HT may feel an easy Journey is now in front of them. I very much hope that you find an excellent chair to drive the school forward on an acceptable trajectory to all members. It is democracy and the GB should hear all voices and 'decide' on your targets which should not be aspirational but realistic, achievable and challenging.
     
  15. The Procedure Regulations specifically state that the governing body will elect a chair and vice chair. Although I am aware of some schools who have appointed joint chairs, this not technically allowed for in the current regulations. The Department for Education is reviewing the procedures regulations and it may be that co-chairs will be mandated for in the new regulations. The Regulations go on to say that if the chair resigns then the governing body needs to appoint a chair at its next meeting.
    I would make the point that succession planning is about ensuring that there is a candidate for when the chair steps down - you say that you had made clear when taking on the role that you would see how it went for a year - did the governing body not discuss at that point what would happen if you decided to step down? If it had then perhaps you could have approached the School Governors One Stop Shop (SGOSS) at that stage and asked for a candidate who would be interested in the role of chair at a future point.
    As it is you could now approach SGOSS (assuming you also have a governor vacancy) for a candidate who would be interested in stepping as chair; recruiting specifically for a chair is not uncommon in the voluntary sector. You could also approach your governor services and ask if it knows of any suitable local candidates. It may take a little time to recruit a new governor to be chair so perhaps your vice-chair, who is going to have to do the job anyway if you resign, could be persuaded to take the chair as an interim measure with the understanding that the governing body will actively seek a new recruit to be chair.
    Stephen Adamson
     

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