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Dear Stephen

Discussion in 'Governors' started by greenblacks, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Our fantastic headmaster resigned on Friday. He had been off sick since the first week of January ( we suspect with stress). The governors appointed a supply head on Thursday. We have one governor who we have heard has no CRB due to a police caution for domestic Two other governors are married to each other the one is currently on a fast track headteacher course. The governors do not communicate with the parents, we have no idea what they and the head have been disagreeing about. However of 140 pupils over 110 families want our headteacher to stay. Can we ask the governors to leave ? We thought they are supposed to respect the parents opinions ? We think if they left the headteacher could withdraw his resignation ? Do we have to ask for a special meeting or do we have to petition them ? Please advise as we do not know what to do. Our headmaster is one in a million - he is so hardworking and respected we do not want to lose him. Thank you
     
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The only solid facts in all this seem to be that the head has resigned. All the petitioning of governors in the world isn't going to chage that. It's up to the head whether he resigns. Almost everything else in your post is either supposition that may or may not be true or irrelevant.

    "We think if they left the headteacher could withdraw his resignation ?" How do you know that? This assumption appears to underlie your entire post but it's not clear why you think that.

    "He had been off sick since the first week of January ( we suspect with stress)" But it could be something else all together.

    "We have one governor who we have heard has no CRB due to a police caution for domestic " Who did you hear it from and how did they know? If they'd seen the governor's CRB they might want to bear in mind that telling you what was in it was a criminal offence, a breach of confidentiality for which they could be arrested and prosecuted. Even if true why 's it relevant? (A CRB might show a caution, but it's not a reason why a CRB wouldn't be issued. A CRB will alsways be issued if applied for. Governors don't need a CRB anyway).

    "we have no idea what they and the head have been disagreeing about. ". How do you know they've been disagreeing about anything?

    "Two other governors are married to each other the one is currently on a fast track headteacher course." And the relevance of either of those things is?

    "We thought they are supposed to respect the parents opinions ?" They are, and nothing in your post suggests they haven't. I'd hope evryone in the school community respected evryone's opinions, but that doesn't mean governors have to do what parents tell them to.

    "However of 140 pupils over 110 families want our headteacher to stay." That's a very precise number. Sounds like it's every single parent in the school - have they all been asked since Friday? But so what? The head wants to leave and it's up to the head whether he stays, not the parents and not the governors. Heads don't resign or get appointed by a vote among parents, not even a 100% vote.

    I understand why parents are often unhappy when a respected head decides to leave but that doesn't mean there's some conspiracy story behind it. Heads, respected or otherwise, leave. That's just how life is. It's the governors job to recruit a new head. There's no mechanism for parents to remove governors, you could ask them all to resign if you want to but I can't think of any reason from your post why they would. They haven't done anything wrong! You'd better off petitioning the head wouldn't you, it's the head who has resigned? The governors haven't fired him.
     
  3. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    RW has given an excellent response to OP.

    Whilst it is gratifying for a head to know parents appreciate their work, being a head is not a popularity contest.

    As pointed out too much is supposition. Let the head go and move on.

    If he has been fantastic then the school should be able to continue successfully when a new head takes over.
     
  4. Hi

    Thanks for the quick replies.

    We have managed to confirm several queries since my post.

    The one governor with no CRB has to call the school 15 mins before assembly if he is attending so his children can be removed. His ex wife has an injunction against him and the second wife in the process of doing so.

    Over 110 families have pledged their support for the head this weekend online and will attend a meeting if the governors organise one.

    We cannot speak to the headmaster to confirm due to legal documents tied in with the resignation.

    We know that the head and governors have disagreed frequently about joining three schools together locally and the resulting handing over of powers to people not from our school. Our board of governors is not complete - there are only 7 - yet they will not admit any more governors.

    Our head always told us that he was there for the long term, he turned the school around in 5 years and had a very low turnover of staff. Previous governors have confirmed the problems are what we suspected.

    You are correct that we are only surmising that the one governor seeks to take on the head teacher role .

    The governors have almost completed admitting our school into the three school partnership scheme - the only person who ever explained to the parents what it meant was the headmaster- he was not entirely against the scheme but felt that certain aspects should be discussed further and that the school should retain its own powers.

    I apologise if my initial post was vague - many parents do not take day to day interest in school affairs and often dismiss playground tittle tattle.
     
  5. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    I am impressed by your balanced response and your desire to do something.

    Do you have the views of school staff ?

    What do the other schools think ?

    Does the local authority have a role to play ?

    Personally, I hope the head teacher can be encouraged to return. Best Wishes.
     
  6. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    You should not have a governor coming into school without a valid DBS certificate.

    What designation of school are you? Maintained / Academy / VA / VC / Free school?

    Check out The School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations

    2012 PART 4 Disqualifications.

    Refusal to make an application for a criminal records certificate

    15. A person is disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor at any time when the person refuses a request by the clerk to the governing body to make an application under section 113B of the Police Act 1997(c) for a criminal records certificate.

    It is not clear from you post whether your school is Federating or joining a multi-academy-trust or something else.

    It's really not credible to state that one governor can hound out the current head and take his mantle. That's fantasy unless you have a dysfunctional GB. Has your GB reconstituted under the 2012 regulations?

    If the support of parents is that large why await governors to organise a meeting. Get parents to do it and invite the governors. They turn up or not. If not you let them know the outcome.

    However, your head has resigned and perhaps your LA are fully involved and you talk of legal documents, which might suggest matters are well down the road and turning the clock back might be difficult.

    The minimum number of governors can only be seven on a GB and you do not state why if vacancies exist they are not being filled.
     
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I'm not clear on that either. But if the intention is to convert to an academy or to join/form a Federation consultation with parents is a statutory part of the process. Have parents been consulted?

    Assuming you are an LA school there is no legal requirement for governors to have a DBS check (DBS = new name for CRB) either to be a governor or to come into school as a governor. Although as Montiagh says if the governing body decides all governors should have DBS checks refusal to apply will result in disqualification. It hasn't been suggesetd that this governor has refused to apply for a DBS check though. It's suggested that his DBS check would show a Caution for a 'domestic. Even if that's true having a Caution doesn't prevent someone being a governor nor coming into school. This seems to have litle relevance though to the main point of the thread, ie why the headteacher has resigned.


     
  8. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    RW.....The OP did mention that this governor was coming into school around assembly times. It is unclear why this is so and it is said he has to ring the school 15 minutes prior so that his children are removed. It is correct that a governor does not any longer have to have a DBS (if they ever did on the strict interpretation of the law) unless their GB prescribes that they do (mine does). If however they come into school at school times unsupervised then they do need one. CRB began being phased out in late 2012 being replaced by Data and Barring Service

    Whatever intended collaboration is happening at this school, then in all cases the parents have to be lawfully informed. I would guess that whatever it is, and it is suggested that it is nearly a done deal, parents will have been informed, but perhaps have not paid close enough attention to what is being decided.

    Parents sometimes don't understand that it is the Governing Body in this case seven members to which the head will be an ex officio member who decide on the strategy for the school and sometimes that strategy is adverse to the heads desired strategy.
     
  9. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Oh dear.
     
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide



    This needsa thread drift warning really montiagh! Yes if this person is left alone with children in school it would be a regulated activity and require a DBS check [Disclosure and Barring Service] , but OP hsn't said anything about the governor being left alone with children. But either way it's not relevant to OP's main question, which is what parents could or should do about ithe headteacher resigning (answer in my view, on the information from OP so far, nothing. Parents need to find out when and how governors are going to start a formal consultation on the proposals.)
     
  11. Hi They want to be part of a multi academic trust - we are an academy already. Thanks
     
  12. Forgot to ask who is Stephen ? Rott Weiler or montiagh ? Thanks
     
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Neither of us! Well, not unless montiagh is keeping it a secret....

    "Stephen" was Stephen Adamson who was Chair of the National Governors Association [NGA]. NGA had an agreement with TES that they'd answer questions in the Governors Forum and Stephen used to come here about once a month and answer them.

    https://community.tes.co.uk/tes_governors/f/17/t/397586.aspx

    He hasn't been for ages, at least a year. He isn't even Chair of NGA any longer, not even connected with it I don't think. The new Chair since December 2014 hasn't been here either. I think NGA have lost interest in it. TBH not many people come to the Governors Forum on TES. I generally advise people to join the UK Governors Forum and post questions there, it's a bit busier:

    http://forums.ukgovernors.org.uk/

    Back to your question. It's quite important to know you're an academy, makes a diference. You can ignore the discussion on DBS/CRB for a start - academy governors have to have DBS Certificates. And I don't think there's any statutory requirement for an existing academy to consult parents if it plans to go into a MAT, but it's not my area of governance, someone else may be able to confirm. That doesn't mean they shouldn't consult of course and I would be pressing the governors for a formal consultation process run the same way they did when they first converted to an academy (assuming they did it properly first time!).
     
  14. Thank you Rott Weiler for your help - off to a meeting of parents this evening - thank you too to montiagh for the suggestion of holding a meeting and inviting the governors to it. Will update when I have more questions !
     
  15. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Greenblacks RW is correct on UKGovernors (the place to be) and Stephen is no more and when he was, it took forever waiting for a response. I was talking to the CEO of NGA a few days ago and forget to ask her (Emma Knights) if there was a replacement for 'Stephen', but I doubt it.

    Feed back if you can what happens at your meeting.

    A multi-academy trust is where a group of schools is governed through a single set of members and directors so no doubt you will lose governance control of your schools by the sounds of it. It is very difficult to divorce once you have made the decision earliest exit time is probably seven years due to the funding agreement. Any school worth its salt would fully consult with the whole school community and partners before making a decision.

    If a LGB (local governing body) is suggested at your school it is usually meaningless, but some will disagree with me.

    If you want to do some homework on multi academy trusts see links below.

    www.nga.org.uk/.../Introduction-to-MATs-v-1-1.pdf.aspx

    www.gov.uk/.../governance-in-multi-academy-trusts.pdf

    www.nationalcollege.org.uk/.../ac-s04-t01.html

    www.nottingham-diocesan-centre.org.uk/.../Governor%20academy-federation%20toolkit%20DES%20revised.pdf
     
  16. Thanks montiagh I have passed the inks on the the parents who know the school history on the governors part - I am concentrating on how to get the headmaster back ! Any more advice is welcome ! Will provide feedback after meeting. Thank you again
     
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Hope it went well. Was it wll attended? Do keep us in the picture if you can.

    I realise this dear to your heart but I suspect this is a lost cause and it might be more productive to focus on the governors plans for taking you into the MAT while there is still time to influence what happens.

    From what you've posted there is no possibility of the head changing his mind. Once heads have publicly announcedt o parents and the local community they are going (and their interim successor is already in post) people don't step back from that. Yopur head hs already been out of school since the start of term and I'm sure that in his head he's "moved on". The other reason is that you say
    . This sounds like they have signed a Settlement Agreement (previously called Compromise Agreement) with the governors. If so his union will have negotiated a leagl agreement to leave under which he has been paid probably a significant sum of money . He can't simply change his mind. The deal is done. These agreements contain strict Confidentialty clauses.He can't even talk to you about it without risking legal action and having to return his settlement compensation. The idea that he might come back is, I'm afraid.,almost certainly wishful thinking.

    Details here on Settlement Agreements in Education if you are not familiar with them.

    https://community.tes.co.uk/tes_jobseekers/b/moving_on_in_your_career/archive/2013/08/02/settlement-agreements-formerly-known-as-compromise-agreements.aspx


     
  18. Thanks Rott Weiler ! Still on the case ! We have handed out open letters to all parents asking for them to register there interest in the MAT situation , lack of transparency in the Governing body and the departure of the Head Will keep asking your advice if Imay ? Thanks
     
  19. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide



    Yes, feel free.
     
  20. Hi Rott Weiler and Montiagh

    5 or 6 parents have applied to become governors, one has already been interviewed by previous head and chair of governors end of last year , however Chair now out of country due to family problems and the governor with the family court anti molestation order is now Acting Chair and is interviewing potential governors himself. Can he do this on his own ? How many governors are required to change a constitution ?
     

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