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Dear Stephen, should a governor be asking for a dept dev plan?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by Ms Jones, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. I am a Head of Dept and I have been emailed by a new governor asking for a copy of my dev plan and what I am doing about raising high achievers. Is this allowed? I didn't reralise that governors can / should be approaching staff like this. Should the protocol not be that if governors wanted to see how I was developing a particular area then they would speak to the Head / Dep Head who would then discuss that area with me.
     
  2. I am a Head of Dept and I have been emailed by a new governor asking for a copy of my dev plan and what I am doing about raising high achievers. Is this allowed? I didn't reralise that governors can / should be approaching staff like this. Should the protocol not be that if governors wanted to see how I was developing a particular area then they would speak to the Head / Dep Head who would then discuss that area with me.
     
  3. I would say that the governor is not acting correctly. Other than the chair, no governor has the power to act individually. Actions should be corporate.
    Having said this, if the governor had been tasked with looking at your dept by the governing body there would be a reason for the request, however it could be argued that the request comes through the school management hierarchy.
    On the other hand, if the governor is new then they simply may not know the protocols.
     
  4. Or another possibility - and a much more likely one in my experience - would be that the GB has tasked this gov with doing this without thinking of the consequences. On the assumption that the head - as a governor - was present at the meeting where it was decided to do this, I think I would expect him to 'warn' the HoD that this governor would be in touch.

    It would certainly be overly bureaucratic for the staff to never meet the governors, but all comms to go thro the HT or DHT.

    In this instance I would suggest saying to the governor - in as friendly and collegiate way possible - that this has come as news to you. Ask for some background. Is this something involving all deoartments or has yours been singled out for some reason?

    On the up side, you should be looking at this as a chance to get the shopping list and pleading that your dept is under staffed, under resourced and under funded. You may have a chance to get yourself a tame advocate on the GB.
     
  5. The Gov body may well have been discussing the issues within a particular department and would like more clarity. Our Governing body have linked governors to key departments or those needing a bit more monitoring. However, any visits to departments or requests for information should really go through the snr leadership team/ Headteacher. They may well pass it on to a department head, this would be the proper protocol.
    I would suggest that you contact the governor saying you will be happy to discuss your department with them, but you need to check with Snr Management. You should also let the Head know that this has been requested. They may well deal with this for you via the Chair of Governors if it is a [protocol issue.
    It is the governors role to monitor and evaluate what is happening in school so they would want to take a look at key areas for development or departments. If you are having a focus on more able pupils and how they are getting on, governors would expect to recieve data from dept heads and the snr leadership team members how students in this category are getting on, and what each department is doing about it.
    However, it would not be appropriate for ANY teacher to approach Governors with a "shopping list" if your Headteacher found out, I think they wouldn't be very pleased. Governors would just come right back to the Headteacher about any issues that have been brought up, and the head would not be happy you have gone over his/her head! The Headteacher and snr leadership team decide exactly where the money actually gets spent with regard to staffing and put it to governors for discussion and approval. Although governors are responsible for budgets , it is unlikely they will be given breakdowns by department. The day to day issues of running the school are the Headteachers responsibility and Governors rarely get involved.
     
  6. I would expect the Gov Body to agree on a protocol for monitoring visits etc, and for that protocol to be communicated to staff by the HT. We involved the staff in the setting of our protocol to make sure that all parties understood and felt comfortable with the arrangements. There is a copy of our protocol on the staff noticeboard. I would check with the HT to find out what your protocol is - if there isn't one then the GB need to agree one!
     
  7. I think the key here is that this is a ‘new governor' who may not be fully aware of what protocols the governing body has in place. S/he is probably (hopefully) enthusiastic about governing and just seeking to find out information about the school. I should raise the issue with your headteacher who should in turn alert the chair of governors who will be able to have a word with the new governor about the correct procedures.
    Stephen Adamson
     

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