1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Staff governor query

Discussion in 'Governors' started by MK teacher, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. MK teacher

    MK teacher New commenter

    Dear Clare or anyone else,

    I'm a staff governor and have been for several years. There was a full governors meeting this week that I didn't attend and told my head teacher and deputy head earlier in the day that it was highly unlikely that I'd be attending due to ill health. The following morning I was asked into the heads office where I was given stern a 'telling off' for not attending and not sending my apologies to the chair. I was told it was very unprofessional, looked bad for the school and it held up the meeting for ten minutes whilst they waited for me to attend. I've since spoken to another governor who told me the meeting wasn't held up and they were shocked that the head called me into his office.
    Can the head 'tell me off' for non attendance at a governors meeting or not? As I'd already indicated to two people who were going that it was highly unlikely that I wasn't is that sufficent way to offer my apology? (the chair of governors was in school prior to the meeting - I was told I should have found him and offered my apologies.
    Any help greatly appreciated


     
  2. MK teacher

    MK teacher New commenter

    Dear Clare or anyone else,

    I'm a staff governor and have been for several years. There was a full governors meeting this week that I didn't attend and told my head teacher and deputy head earlier in the day that it was highly unlikely that I'd be attending due to ill health. The following morning I was asked into the heads office where I was given stern a 'telling off' for not attending and not sending my apologies to the chair. I was told it was very unprofessional, looked bad for the school and it held up the meeting for ten minutes whilst they waited for me to attend. I've since spoken to another governor who told me the meeting wasn't held up and they were shocked that the head called me into his office.
    Can the head 'tell me off' for non attendance at a governors meeting or not? As I'd already indicated to two people who were going that it was highly unlikely that I wasn't is that sufficent way to offer my apology? (the chair of governors was in school prior to the meeting - I was told I should have found him and offered my apologies.
    Any help greatly appreciated


     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    In theory you should send apologies directly to the chair, not via other people, but it's not a hanging offence! As a head I would cheerfully take a staff governor's apologies to the meeting for them and wouldn't dream of giving someone a telling off for not doing so themselves. After all, it's a voluntary activity.
     
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    .... or to the Clerk - although actually there's no legal rule that says either, it's just convention. I agree with Middlemarch, the head's response is completely excessive. On my GB the head would simply have passed on your apologies.
     
  5. If you want to make a point. And I am not suggesting this as a course of action.
    Wait until the Minutes come out and see exactly what is recorded about your absence.
    If your apology is not recorded, wait until the next meeting and simply mention under Matters Arising that you asked 2 people to pass on your apologies, which you understood to be an acceptable practice. Express surprise that they did not do so and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Would make the 2 other look chumps.
     
  6. Hi
    When acting as a governor you are not accountable to the head, but to the governing body and clearly the Chair is the ‘senior' governor. Having said that, you are a member of staff and as such the headteacher does have an over-arching responsibility for how the school is perceived which includes the professionalism of employees.
    Formally, apologies for governing body meetings should be made to either the clerk to the governors, or the Chair (or both), but in most governing bodies there is some leeway - if x has told y that they are not able to make it, that is usually deemed to be acceptable.
    I think there are two separate although related issues here, your position in relation to the headteacher and your position relating to the chair of the governing body.
    If you are unhappy at the way you have been treated as a member of staff you could declare a grievance against the headteacher. All schools must have a grievance policy and if you feel strongly enough you may wish to consider this course of action.
    On the issue of your relationship with the governing body, you may wish to contact the chair of governors directly and apologise for not having informed her/him in person of your inability to attend the governing body, but explain that as you had told both the deputy and headteacher you thought your apologies would be passed on. The other thing to check will be the minutes of the meeting - apologies are usually the first item and governing bodies can choose whether to accept apologies or not. If you are simply recorded as absent without apologies you may wish to challenge the minutes on the grounds that you had informed members (albeit it not the chair or the clerk) of the governing body that you would be absent and, therefore, had a reasonable expectation that your apologies would be recorded.

    Clare Collins
     

Share This Page