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Discussion in 'Governors' started by topsee, Mar 16, 2009.
Then you would be totally wrong. The staff governors would only be perhaps three votes out of twenty
Actually this is wrong anyway - the point of staff governors is to act as governors, not as representatives of the staff - same for parent governors - and all types of governors. They are there to make decisions based on what is best for the school as a whole - not to represent any one group, no matter how they become governors, nor who elected them (if they were elected).
The LA are obliged to appoint the candidate selected by the panel once ratified by the full governing body.
Unless the 'successful' candidate doesn't meet the minimum legal criteria, i.e. NPQH etc. In such cases they could refuse to appoint.
Nobody has said that non-staff governors should take no notice of objections raised by staff governors (though it's difficult to see how, in the circumstances described originally, these could be cogent if staff governors were not on the recruitment panel). But that doesn't necessarily mean allowing those objections to change a decision, and I can think of circumstances where appointing a new head against sustained objection from staff governors might be exactly what the school needs.
you misunderstand the role of Governors rannopil - they are not there to represent any particular group. Staff governors have no more right to be biased in favour of staff because they are staff members, than parent governors have to be biased in favour of their own children. Teachers are quick enough to complain when parent governors do that aren't they? Governors have to be objective and take all factors into account. Of course objections made by staff should be considered - but by all the governors in an equal objective way. Staff governors are not representatives of the staff on a governing body - they have to keep their personal feelings and interests (and those of their coleagues) out of it, and make decisions objectively. If they can't then they should absent themselves from the vote.
You obviously don't understand the process very well. It is very well documented by the NCSL. Usually staff governors are not involved in the selection panel. The panel are selected by the GB and run the process, sifting applications, checking references, shortlisting, interviewing and finally selecting a single candidate for recomendation to the Full GB.
That's the point at which the staff governors would normally have their say. So are you suggesting that 3 staff governors could convince the remainder of the GB that the selection panel they chose and empowered to conduct the process have made an *** of the job? And that someone else should get the position?
Or are you suggesting that the Staff Govs should have a veto on the process?
No I obviously don't understand the process very well. I have only been a staff governor for 16 years and have been on selection panels for scores of interviews including at least 12 senior managers and three head teachers.The LA actively encourages all governors to be involved in senior appointments. Any governing body that doesn't take account of the views of staff governors who can offer a different level of insight into potential appointments isn't doing their job properly. Maybe the reason why we have so many poor senior leaders in schools today is that governing bodies do not spend enough time consulting the staff - the people who actually work in schools. Would doctors expect to be interviewed by people other than the medical profession? How about lawyers?
I have never said that staff govs should have a veto neither have I said that they are representatives. Why on earth should staff not be in a position to offer an opinion based on what is good for the school as a whole?
Please do not misrepresent what I have previously stated - you could always read through the whole thread to avoid me repeating my points.
Haveing been a non-staff governor for nearly as long as that, and also having served on 3 HT selection panels, as well as advised GBs on 2 more, I can tell you that Staff Governors on HT Selection Panels are a rare breed indeed. There is no longer a direct recommendation against it, although there was until very recently.
I am not suggesting that their views should not be taken into account. What I did suggest was that it would be highly impractical for the views of 3 staff governors to be used to overturn the opinion of a selection panel. Try reading my reply.
Can I suggest that it would be extremely bad practice to have 3 staff governors on a HT selection panel. And I believe it is not a good idea to have any on the panel. For a variety of reasons:
<ol>[*]They have a pecuniary interest in the appointment[*]Where there are internal candidates, staff govs would have significant prior knowledge of those candidates which would undoubtedly colour their objectivity[*]Most teachers are trade union members with fraternal bonds across the staff which inevitably create a conflict of interest in appointing a senior manager[*]Most teachers have little or no direct experience of the role of headteacher, much of which has very little to do with teaching.[*]Most teachers have little or no experience in recruiting senior managers and executives, which is essentially what a modern headteacher is.</ol>And with regard to the fallacious lawyers/doctors argument, I think you are mistaken. I think most line manager appointments in the health service (and similar legal positions in the public service) will find themselves facing non-medical/legal selection panels, for exactly the same reasons.
Of course they could offer an opinion, but that is rather different from your initial proposition that "If the staff were against this appointment then the staff govs could have prevented it."
I'm really sorry and will make sure I do nothing to inconvenience you, or any other busy teacher, in the future.
In reply to your points:
1. Ridiculous - they are employed by the LA (generally)
2. If a non-staff governor is carrying out their role properly they will also have significant prior knowledge of any internal candidate - especially the chair. By your argument this would exclude all of the governing body. Teachers are surely capale of making rational decisions?
3. How does membership of a trade union create a conflict of interest? Surely it is in the interests of the schol as a whole to appoint a HT who sees the benefit of teh workload agreement and establishing a fair work-life balance for the staff. Would any non-teaching governors who are members of a trade union thus also having a 'fraternal bond' with fellow union members be barred under your rules? There are in fact several teaching unions all with widely varying viewpoints - this fact alone undermines your whole argument.
4.Most teachers have a much greater appreciation of the role of HT than non-teachers. What kind of HT has 'very little to do with teaching' (your words) ? - precisely the kind of HT a school should avoid and is in danger of appointing if non-staff govs appoint without staff input.
5. 'A modern headteacher is a manager' (again - your words) - every teacher worth their salt would tell you this is exactly what a school doesn't need - it needs a leader. Someone who leads by example and values the staff who work there.
Given your last sarcastic remark, you quite clearly hold teachers in utter disdain. I am sure that if your governing body shares your views it would explain why there is minimal staff governor involvement in the selection process at your school.
Oh, and that's No. 6 on the list
Actually I don't. The vast majority of teachers of my acquaintance are well rounded people for whom I have the utmost professional admiration. There are a few, though, that aren't and many of those I do hold in utter disdain. But they are few and far between.
Schools, plural. There was not "minimal staff governor involvement" in the selection processes I was involved. Again read my responses carefully. There were no staff governors on the selection panels. A very different situation. There was plenty of staff governor involvement in the processes.
And nor were there in any of the head teacher and deputy head appointments our governing body has made over the last 10 years - for some very good reasons:
1. The LA advised against it, (and we had LA representatives taking part in the Head teacher recruitment processes and interviews - no recommendations from them were allowed, but advice was given).
2. The staff governors (other than the Head for deputy interviews) did not want to be on the panels because they realised they had a possible conflict of interest.
3. Having staff governors on the panel could have put both them, and the candidates in a difficult position both in the interview process and within school before and after the event, particularly if an internal candidate did not get offered the job.
4. All staff and governors were given the opportunity to meet all candidates for Head teacher posts informally, and their views were very much taken into account (its a small school).
There were teacher and support staff governors on both the panels that appointed me to my two secondary headships.
ah, but then you're a rare breed yourself, middlemarch ...
Saucy! That's not harsh, though it IS fair.
Would you like to tell us approx. when each of those appointments were made?
Approximate years would be fine.
Why would you want to know that?
I don't, particularly. But the dates might be an indicator as to why your experience is different to mine.
First one mid 90s, second early 2000s.