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Interviews - Chair of Governors on recruitment panel

Discussion in 'Governors' started by Tiriann, May 12, 2015.

  1. Dear Stephen, There seems to be some divided opinion as to whether governors, or Chairs of Governors should be part of a recruitment panel for new staff . Clarification would be useful, especially in a Free school where the governors are also the employers. Having had many years of recruitment experience and undergone safer recruitment training, as CoG I've sat on panels in my present school for the last 2 years - with the agreement of the Board. Is it now up to the head teacher to say 'no more governors on interview panels - unless it's for a member of SLT or a new head' - or should this be a decision for the Board. What have other governors been involved with in terms of recruitment?
  2. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    The head should in essence follow the will of the GB. At my school governors are always welcome on interview panels, but in practice its rarely for anything other than SLT/MLT positions. I do think it makes much difference that your are a free school as opposed to a maintained school, as the responsibility overall is for the governors to decide.

    I would negotiate a sensible outcome with your head that governors will sit on specified appointments rather than all or none subject to my last line.

    Governors by law have to be on the head and deputy heads appointment panels.
  3. Yes - thank you for this reply - I totally agree that it's up to governors to decide. Perhaps what happened this evening this has some bearing on the head's decision...as I was told this evening at a meeting (with a small number of other governors presen)t that the SLT don't recognise the Board of Governors as the employers.....and have told the staff this. Asking for an explanation for this view - I was told that it's only the Members of the Trust who are the employers. But as 3 out of the 4 members of the Trust are governors anyway... this was illuminating!!! So apart from the Governors Handbook page 7 - clealry showing who the employers are, is there any other documentation I can share with the head?
  4. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Members of the trust will in effect be directors and employers so the SLT need to be more respectful.

    I am puzzled as to whether your head is at one with the SLT and that you are having to convince all of them?

    Have you had a look at your school's articles of association, the model one from the dfe is usually used for both academies and free schools. To get a steer on the legal aspects of free / academy schools / MATs etc have a look at the explanations here.....

  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Sounds like there's some tails wagging dogs going on here Tiriann.

    A standalone free school is a standalone academy as far as its legal constitution and governance are concerned. Each school will have its own Funding Agreement and Articles of Association agreed with DFE so you'd have to check your own school's for precise details. However they're all based (since about 2011) on the same DFE model documents so are very similar as far as this issue is concerned. The Articles will make clear that its a two-tier governance structure of Academy Trust at the top and then a governing body. It's common in standalone academies for the membership of the two bodies to have considerable overlap - even be identical - but nevertheless it's important they are viewed as separate bodies with separate functions and responsibilities.

    Under the Articles the employer will be the Academy Trust (and the contracts of employment should state this too), and this is what the Governors' Handbook page 7 says too. I agree with montiagh that it's odd for the SLT to undermine the GB this way - very ill-advised of the head I'd say.

    The Academy Trust can delegate any of its employment functions to the governing body. Practice varies widely, but if your Academy Trust has delegated recruitment to the governing body then it is up to the GB how staff are recruited. Whatever has been decided between the Trust and the GB one thing is certain: it isn't the head's decision unless expressly delegated to the head (and formally minuted). So can your head say "'no more governors on interview panels - unless it's for a member of SLT or a new head". No !

    Although formal responsibility for recruitment sits with either the Trust or the GB for all staff, right down to the newest NQT or diner lady, it's normal for the Trust or GB to delegate most recruitment to the head. It wouldn't be good practice for governors to make all the decisions.

    The rules for LA schools don't apply to you of course, but for comparison in an LA school HT and Deputy HT appointments must be done by a panel of at least 3 governors, and it's recommended that a governors panel also recruits for all other SLT roles (head can be - usually is - one of those governors). Below that recommended that it's fully delegated to head. In my school (LA secondary) our policy is that for middle management positions - HoD, HoY etc - the HT will invite a governor to join them, but if no governor is available the decision can be made without governor involvement. This works well for us.

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