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Headteacher considering own governor role

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by fieldy24, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. fieldy24

    fieldy24 New commenter

    As HT, I have always taken my place on the governing body but current frustrations are making me reconsider this in the school I am currently at. Those HTs who choose not to be governors, does it have any adverse impact I wonder?
  2. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I'm not sure what might be achieved by you not being a governor. You would still need to attend meetings to give reports and answer questions, and surely you would not want your governors making important decisions, for example about the budget, without your input and advice.
    Sundaytrekker and Northhead like this.
  3. fieldy24

    fieldy24 New commenter

    Thanks Ladykaza. Essentially I need governors to take on their share of the workload and responsibility. Currently the default position seems to be to leave it to me because I’m HT and governor. I’m spoon feeding far too much.
  4. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited New commenter

    It's useful to know that HTs don't have to be part of the governing body; I understood it was mandatory.
  5. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Speaking as a governor I think the head is too directly involved with many things that could be delegated or kept at arms length to avoid having to prepare vast amounts of information for the governing body to assimilate in a two hour meeting. Why not take the lead and bring governance into the 21st century by making better use of electronic communication.
    I access an electronic notice board via the internet that keeps me up to date with attendance each week for each year group, staff training, visitors, safety / safeguarding reminders, messages of congratulation and special events / awards. Staff use twitter to say what happened in their class that day/week ( mainly to keep parents 'in the loop), the SBM posts photos/comments on the school facebook page and I talk to SLT to keep up to date with curriculum initiatives.
    The next 'step' is for governors to approve new/amended policy, budgets and action plans (SDP) via e-mail to the chair or voice their concerns in advance of the next meeting where it can be discussed more fully.
    Pupil performance/progress data + raise/fft dashboard should really come from teachers, verified and forwarded by the head.
    Ofsted will not doubt wish to see evidence that this is properly under control, so all e-mails should have a standard format / heading and be forwarded to an auditor account Ofsted can browse.
    Even better if someone creates a governors portal into SIMS and RAISE and an app for all the other stuff.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I agree that GBs could make much better use of electronic communication but unfortunately policies cannot be approved that way. It's not legal for governors/trustees to take formal decisions electronically in either LA schools or academies. You could though get people to comment in advance so that the time it takes up at meetings is much reduced. Presumably you already delegate all policy approval to Committees?

    Heads aren't required to be governors but they can (and would be) required to attend GB meetings. From what I've seen it makes no practical difference whether head is a governor or not except that you get no vote if not a governor. Mostly that's of little relevance but could matter if the GB is split on a contentious issue (although you could join the GB at any time in that case!). What sort of things do GB delegate to you @fieldy24 ? Most stuff is delegated to heads in their capacity as the head so makes no difference whether you are a governor or not.
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  7. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    The Statutory Instrument entitled "The Schools Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances)(England) Regulations 2013" states: 'the governing body may approve alternative arrangements for governors to participate or vote at meetings of the governing body including but not limited to by telephone or video conference'.
    Thankfully not everyone at the DFE is a Luddite.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Your selective quotation omits the other requirement:

    14 (3) Every question to be decided at a meeting of the governing body is to be determined by a majority of the votes of the governors present and voting on the question.

    The DFE guidance makes clear that the provision you quote does not include voting in advance by email. It only allows people to PARTICIPATE in the decision making remotely. It does not allow governors to vote without participating in a collective discussion (or at least the opportunity for a collective discussion). Email voting would mean that governors took decisions prior to a discussion taking place and DFE do not permit that.

    It's nothing to do with the DFE being technological luddites. It's about the very important principle of a GB's corporate decision-making and accountability.

    28.The requirement to be present at the meeting means that proxy voting or voting in advance of a meeting is not permitted. It is important that governors are present to hear and engage in the debate before casting their vote.

    29.However, the regulations now give boards the power to make arrangements for their members to be present at board and committee meetings ‘virtually’, for example by telephone or video conference, and therefore to participate in discussion and decision making remotely.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  9. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    That begs the question: what is the definition of a meeting? I often enter into debates over an extended period of time over the internet (such as this). Methinks clause 28 is redundant, having being superseded by a better option.
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It's the current DFE guidance to the specific paragraph in the 2013 Regulations that you quoted so it's hardly redundant! Nor does it beg the question 'what is a meeting?'. That's defined in detail in paragraph 13 of the Regulations you quote ("Convening meetings of the governing body").
    Sundaytrekker likes this.
  11. fieldy24

    fieldy24 New commenter

    Thanks All. @Rott Weiler - the straw to break the camel's back is the governors' action plan. I've prepared it, monitor it, carry out any prep. necessary for their actions, chase them when they don't get round to doing their actions and evaluate progress of their actions. That's the tip of the iceberg really. There's a whole list!
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Ah yes, that shouldn't be delegated to the head!
    fieldy24 likes this.
  13. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    I agree with @Ladykaza - you gain nothing as a Head by not being a Governor and potentially disadvantage yourself.
    fieldy24 likes this.
  14. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    So who should I lobby to consider how things could be changed for the better ? The NGA ? Emma Knight ?

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