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Treatment of confidential minutes

Discussion in 'Governors' started by Zeberdee, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Can anyone assist with guidance or legislation on this conundrum. Our chair has a rule that copies of any minutes for confidential items are only given out at the next meeting. They are given out and each governor is given just a few minutes to read them and they are then collected up by the chair and chair asks for approval and they dissapear forever.
    So we can have a situation where minutes are taken at one meeting and say the next meeting is two / three months away, we are then presented with the minutes and expected to remember all that occurred accurately over that length of time and then never see them again. Our part A minutes do get sent to us a few days before the meetings. This seems terribly wrong to me and I think that it must breach some regulations surely?

     
  2. Can anyone assist with guidance or legislation on this conundrum. Our chair has a rule that copies of any minutes for confidential items are only given out at the next meeting. They are given out and each governor is given just a few minutes to read them and they are then collected up by the chair and chair asks for approval and they dissapear forever.
    So we can have a situation where minutes are taken at one meeting and say the next meeting is two / three months away, we are then presented with the minutes and expected to remember all that occurred accurately over that length of time and then never see them again. Our part A minutes do get sent to us a few days before the meetings. This seems terribly wrong to me and I think that it must breach some regulations surely?

     
  3. I'm not sure if is in breach of any rules, but it does seem pretty daft to me.
    There is no requirement to have confidential items minuted separately from the rest of the meeting. Signed minutes are open to the public. Confidential items can be redacted from any copy given out under FOIA.
    It is really good practice to send out minutes as soon after the meeting as possible as there are bound to be action points for governors to work on.
    I would have a word with the governor services unit at your LA (if you are a LA school). Also it sounds as if your clerk is not too clued up on procedures.
     
  4. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    I believe your chair and clerk are breaching the procedures. The School Governance (Procedures) (England) Regulations 2003 state at part 3 regulation 11 Convening meetings of the governing body paragraph (4) The clerk shall give written notice of the meeting, a copy of the agenda for the meeting and any reports or other papers to be considered at the meeting at least seven clear days in advance to ? (a) each governor.


    Any papers would include minutes from the previous meeting inclusive of confidential items. You have something very bizarre going on.

    Minutes should be sent to governors not longer than 2 weeks after the meeting. If I read correctly the way in which these minutes are presented 'on the day' means that you could be going for weeks months without them so how can your memories be sufficient to remember with such potential time lags. I would report this as Tom Clancy states to your LA Governance unit.
     
  5. Thanks for the replies. The clerk is an LA clerk and the chair is a senior figure at the LA, so that route of moan isn't an option. Where does one go in governance if something is being done that seems or is unlawful?
     
  6. Oh dear, what an abysmal situation. Sounds like a question for Stephen to me - re-post your post with Dear Stephen in the subject line.
     
  7. Just because the chair is a big deal in the LA should not stop you approaching the Authority for advice. They are obliged to act on behalf of the school, not an individual. Appreciate it would need a deep breath before picking up the phone.
     
  8. Blackdog99 - One of my children would describe the relationship as the street term 'owned'. One governor has complained a number of times to the LA about the chair breaching aspects of governance legislation and those previous moans to the LA have all hit a very large brick wall. The chair simply gets the GB, most of who know zilch on legislation to swim in the chairs direction. I believe the governor has also contacted the Dfe and got nowhere.


     
  9. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Oh dear ...
     
  10. Hello

    I would write to the chair quoting the regulation quoted.

    I would then ask for the matter to be discussed in any other notified business.

    If that dosen't change anything I would formally write to Governir Services and if not auctioned raise a formal complaint to both the GB & the LA.
     
  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Do you think anyone will bid?
     
  12. Goodness me! Why are you allowing this to go on and for such rudeness to be accepted? If you are a governor, you are giving up your time free of charge and not to be bullied or ordered about in this way. Personally, I would suggest that you don't stand for it. Just point out that this is not actually correct procedure, that you would like this minuted and that if this POV is not accepted that you would like an expert from the LEA to explore the way in which the GB is being operated. If there is a refusual, ask for that to be minuted too and point out that you will be taking further advice. Should you be treated badly, ask yourself if this is a rewarding process and make up your own mind what you should do.
     
  13. phoebe14. Apparently this action of producing minutes only at the next meeting for a few minutes and then taking them back was approved at a meeting that I was not at. However, on asking where this piece of business is in the minutes is mentioned the clerk indicated that they did not have time to find it. I know it is unlawful, but i have encountered many breaches of legislation and despite engaging the dfe (as the LA is not an option), they have not assisted once, not once.
     
  14. My understanding is that minutes need to be on record for interested parties to look at should they so wish. This includes parents, of course. Obviously, Part II or confidential minutes would not be included. Clearly transparency is not your school's agenda, which is a concern. As I said, although I don't know what kind of governor you are, I would be inclined to review my commitment and make it very clear why...
     

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