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Headteacher not governor

Discussion in 'Governors' started by bnm, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. bnm

    bnm

    Have you ever found this to be a positive thing?
    I am a headteacher who is considering resigning from the governing body. Over the past few years the governing body has become much more effective and is building its own capacity. I now feel that in some ways I am hindering its further development through my dual role as both head and governor. This has resulted in some minor conflicts which is no bad thing as true debate is being held about important issues amongst some governors (but not all). I was thinking that if I had the one role of providing information and being available for questions, but not being present for debate and voting, the rest of the governing body could more easily "find its voice" and truly develop into the strategic role independently.
    I would welcome opinions.
     
  2. bnm

    bnm

    Have you ever found this to be a positive thing?
    I am a headteacher who is considering resigning from the governing body. Over the past few years the governing body has become much more effective and is building its own capacity. I now feel that in some ways I am hindering its further development through my dual role as both head and governor. This has resulted in some minor conflicts which is no bad thing as true debate is being held about important issues amongst some governors (but not all). I was thinking that if I had the one role of providing information and being available for questions, but not being present for debate and voting, the rest of the governing body could more easily "find its voice" and truly develop into the strategic role independently.
    I would welcome opinions.
     
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    What happens if you are not invited to be present to provide information and answer questions?
     
  4. bnm

    bnm

    This is true, but I haven't "fallen out" with the governors, and they haven't with me. I was assuming they would want me to provide info on emerging issues and to be available for questions following my head's report.
    If I felt I was being unreasonably excluded I would always have the option of taking up my place again on the governing body (if I understand the regulations accurately).
     
  5. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I would have thought that giving up your role as Governor might give out the wrong message in some quarters. Why not stay as a Governor, but reduce your attendance? Leave meetings early after having presented your report and answered questions and maybe miss the odd meeting completely.
    The make-up of a GB can change quite quickly and new members may not understand your stance, or you may need to get back on board quickly.

     
  6. bnm

    bnm

    I appreciate your comments, harsh.
    I think I would come under a lot of criticism if I missed or left meetings in my perceived role as headteacher which I think is being interpreted as "there to service the governing body".
    I am unsure what stance to take but feel uncomfortable with my current role.
     
  7. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    You remain an ex-officio member of the school's GB as long as you are head at your school. Your suggestion to depart the role of governor is exceptionally rare and in my view a retrograde step. As Harsh says how would it look to the other governors, staff, parents, pupils, LA and ofsted. If you suggested this in my school, I would want to be looking for a new head.
     
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    While it's uncommon for HT not to be a governor I can see some merit in the reason you have for considering this, essentially that the GB's capacity to carry out its role of holding you to account and challenge you is being held back by your presence at GB meetings. Wouldn't it be better though for the relationship between GBG and HT to develop to the point that the GB is confortable providing challenge when you are present?
    That's not quite correct. The head automatically becomes a staff governor as soon as they become the headteacher of the school but the head can resign at any time and stop being a governor. If the head does this though the heads position on the GB remains unfilled. It's reserved for the head no other staff member can fill it. The head is statutorily entitled to withdraw their resignation at any time and resume their staff governor position.
    Wow! That's some tough governing body you've got montiagh. I think my GB would feel that response was just a touch excessive....[​IMG]
     
  9. bnm

    bnm

    Why?
    Surely it is an entitlement of the head not to be a governor.
    I am not suggesting cutting myself off from the governing body or not supporting them.
    Historically there has been an over-reliance on the headteacher. I am wanting the governing body to find its own strategic direction. I have an opinion, but at the end of the day I am only 1/16th of the governing body and I feel the 15/16th need to decide themselves which way the school should go. Headteachers come and go but the governing body, as a body, are there for keeps.
     
  10. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Bnm . I was perhaps being a bit harsh. I am sure on reflection my gb would want to explore your full reasons. I fully appreciate your problem that your gb needs not to depend upon you so much. I think RW's idea of a middle ground would be better and that remaining on your gb an easing back on your input or leaving for some of the agenda might be a more favourable position.
     
  11. bnm

    bnm

    Thank-you for your opinions.
    I will ponder my options for a little longer.
     

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