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Do governors have to approve staff leave of absence?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by slkbrit, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. slkbrit

    slkbrit New commenter

    Do I have to take all requests for leave to the governing body (or committee within that) for approval or should I be able to make these decisions at my discretion?

    I have had some decisions that I've taken to the Governors, have agreed and then several days later they changed their minds! Has put me in a very difficult position. They have now changed their minds back again but I just want to be clear whether or not I need to make these decisions with them or if I can inform them of the decision I take?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Depends on what your policy says.

    A bigger concern for me is that they changed their minds after a couple of days! Surely once discussed, proposed and voted on in the meeting, that's the decision. How did they come to change the decision? It must have been most embarrassing for you if you'd already spoken to the member of staff.
  3. slkbrit

    slkbrit New commenter

    The policy states "The responsibility for exercising discretion on behalf of the Governing Body is the Headteacher’s, in accordance with the professional duties defined in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document."

    It was very embarrassing and not great for staff relationships!
  4. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    It is almost certain that you decide staff requests for leave. Possibly, if you are an Academy, there may be a policy that governor approval is needed. If not, its your decision.
    Do not undermine your position in school. You are the head who has professional training and experience. Governors are not responsible for operational decisions. There should be a clear understanding of the role of governors. This requires respectful communication : it does not have to/ or should be a conflict.
    I speak as an ex head and now a governor. Safeguard your status.
  5. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Well it certainly sounds like it's your decision and should never have gone to governors.

    I would have a discussion with the chair around roles and responsibilities. Governors need to be clear that day to day management plus anything else delegated to you is your decision and that they need to support, not undermine.

    If you think this is going to be tricky, speak to governor services (if available) at your LA. Our's have been very good at coming out to do some training with the whole governing body. They may also be a help in the wording of policies, and ensuring that different ones don't contradict each other.
  6. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Duplicate post
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    A similar question was asked on Governors Forum here. I won't repeat what I posted there, but you do seem to have made a rod for your own back by referring to governors decisions which they had already formally delegated to you.

    In your next informal 1-to-1 meeting with Chair just mention that you've realised that you didn't need to refer decision to governors as it is already delegated to you, so in future you won't be. And does Chair want you to report back on decisions you have made on staff absences to full GB or to an appropriate committee?

    The governors (and I say this as a Chair of Governors), acted entirely wrongly in making a decision then changing their mind. That's inexcusable. The staff concerned could have entered into binding financial commitments based on the initial decision.

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