Good morning All, I’m a fairly new governor but have several family/close friends in senior leadership so not entirely naive to the workings of education. I would not usually share details which I feel should probably be confidential but having raised subtly a number of times through the propoer channels and being fobbed off at best I'm feeling quite out at sea over this. Obviously have to be fairly vague here as there is a chance some involved may read this. The school with which I’m involved faced some HR difficulties which although fairly straightforward to resolve employment law somewhat tied the hands of the GB on timeframe. The LA quite reasonably acted and issued a warning notice instructing the school to federate with a strong school near by. Since this time the GB have taken steps to resolve this issue and attainment, moral even the fabric of the school have taken a sharp upswing. Now here is where my concern begins. In a non work setting I happened to be present when a person (in a position to be reasonably expected to know) after a few too many glasses of wine shared (to a group of 5+) the latest gossip the school A would federate with school B, with the head of school B becoming executive head. Now at this time, this should have been very much confidential/undecided. When I asked the person (who didn’t know me from Adam) wouldn’t the governors have to decide that? They gleefully explained how things would proceed. Since this time things have gone exactly as described: A number of long standing governors with an educational bias have left - which could be coincidence Governors have been appointed to the board of school A from school B (but not the reverse) - would seem to be a conflict of interest School A were instructed by th LA not to recruit governors to vacant positions. Governors have been appointed by the LA to the board of school A with instruction to “assist with the federation process”. Head of school A is in an interim role, the LA have prevented the GB from appointing to a substantive role. Suggestion has been made job would be advertised internally meaning head B is only suitable candidate. Throughout the various meetings there have been a number or Freudian slips where instead of discussing possible leadership options, school B and others seem to have forgotten we haven’t actually decided head B should be executive. When you look at the numbers the LA have engineered a a situation where they have influence over enough governors to ensure school A has any real say if federation is in its best interests nor what any resulting leadership structure would be. Now I’m not naive enough not to accept that in some extreme situations to help swing the likelihood of an outcome to one which is clearly in the best interest of the kids may be morally justifiable. However here: Head A has strong experience in the key stage of school A and reasonable experience is KS of school B. Head B (to be executive) has strong experience of school B but has never even acted as a class teacher at KS of school A. Both schools are making good progress independently. The two schools already work closely together and neither is outstanding so both require a lot of work. The thing I find most concerning Is having shared the above with the few people I am allowed to they have all agreed the actions are fairly questionable but are afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals. I’m now in the awkward position of deciding between allowing things to proceeds as per the LAs plan which I strongly believe not be in the best interest of my child (and 300 others) or making my concerns public with a reasonable risk of damaging the careers of loved ones. I’m coming to this process from the private sector where any one of the above considerations would likely result in uproar, when viewed as a whole even discarding what I’ve been told in a private setting it’s hard to view the above as anything other than match fixing. I guess my questions are: 1) is this just normal practice in education? 2) am I unreasonable to think the above doesn’t sound like the best way to 3) who should concerns such as this be raised with?