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Volunteering to go on the Finance committee

Discussion in 'Governors' started by geek84, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi Folks

    I am on the board of governors for my local secondary school, and considering going on their finance committee - since I enjoy dealing with figures.

    Are there any standard qualifications required for being on that commitee - i.e. does the individual need to be a chartered accountant or working towards accountancy qualifications?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  2. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  3. geek84

    geek84 New commenter


    Thanks for your reply. So I take it that you just need to be good at figures to be on the finance committee?

  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

  5. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Many thanks, harsh-but-fair.
  6. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi Folks
    I have been to my first Finance Committee meeting and have been appointed as a 'link governor' for the committee.
    I did not ask many questions at the meeting (not wanting to look stupid), but can someone please explain what that means and what responsibiliites are involved, in being a link governor.
    Who else can I work along with on this, or get ideas regarding what finance area to concentrate on?

    Thanks in advance.
  7. staxis

    staxis New commenter

    The role of 'link' governor will be defined by your GB. Certainly, within my GB we have redefined the role fairly recently. There should be a description of the role available to you.
  8. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply.
    I haven't been given the 'job description', although I became a governor Iin Sept 2010.
    Do you think I should ask for one or wait until someone approaches me?

    Thank You.
  9. An aptitude with figures makes the experience a more rewarding one (both ways). Without that, the long meetings and questioning might get confusing. I am a chartered accountant but still needed to ask a lot of questions on acronyms and the way schools are funded in my first few meetings. The budget numbers vary but the budget lines don't so much - so, after a few meetings, a numerate person should start to seethe wood for the trees. Go for it!
  10. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi Folks
    I was the finance committee link governor for my local secondary school during the last academic year. Although I used to attend the meetings on a regular basis and have a look at the school accounts (handouts were given out during meetings), I was never given an indepth explanation of what the figures meant and whether or not they were 'reasonable'. However, I did make repeated requests for an indepth knowledge from the chair of the governors, but she never got round to doing this!
    I therefore never did any link governor work with any of the other members of school staff, because I didn't have the background knowledge. And so, never produced any reports - and nobody on the committee asked me to produce a report!
    Now it seems that the finance committee of the school governing body are expecting to receive a link governor report for finance for the last academic year from myself, which of course I did not do !
    Do you think I have been very silly in not producing a report and because of that, would I be thrown out of the committee?
    Thanks in advance for your response.
  11. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi Rott weiler
    Yes, I do see what you mean. However, I was beginning to get the impression that they probably wanted me to talk to members of staff (teachers), to see where they preferred money to be spent, or something along thse lines!!
    So I presume I'm wrong?
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I can't imagine for one minute that anyone wants to thorw you off the finance committee for not producing a report. Most governing bodies are so desparate to get anyone volunteering to be on finace that once they've got you there they're not easily going to let you go!

    No you haven't done anything wrong. Your finance committee is operating a very unusual way so if the committee or GB wnated you to be link governor in the way you describe the rsponsibility is on them to explain to you exactly what they want the link governor to do, and to expalin it before you agreed to do it. You're not a mindreader! I'd be sorely tempted to tell them what they could do with their request for a written report. It isn't required - why can't you just give oral feedback at next GB meetings and the clerk can minute it? Do they think you've got nothing better to do with your time.

    I'm still struggling to understand why your finance committee is operating in such an unusual way. The head is the committee's professional adviser and is responsible for consulting staff (if staff need to be consulted it, that is. You don't normally decide budget priorities by asking staff what they'd like to spend the budget on.) If there's some specific reason why staff need to be consulted direct by governors why doesn't the committee chair do it? What does the committee chair think he or she is there for if not to represent the finance committee in any discussions with staff?
  13. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi Rott Wieler
    Many thanks for taking the time to offer advice on this problem, that I have.
    The school, which is a C of E school, <u>definitely</u> had a role for a link governor to the Finance Committee , which I agreed to do (regrettably), last academic year. This is my 2nd year as a governor at the school. The role was never explained to me and I never asked anyone, because I was expecting someone to approach me to explain what is expected of me as a link governor.
    Anyway, I did not get much of an exposure to the school accounts (as stated on one of my previous post 10, dated 7th October, so this year I decided to opt out of the finance committee and join some other committee.
    We had a governing body meeting last week, in which I expressed my preference to opt out of the finance committee. I think the problem arose from the fact that I did not tell them that I also want to oppt out of the link governor role, since my name was clearly written next to that role, on the handouts that were given to us. I just assummed that I would automatically be taken off the link governor role since I had opted to be out of the finance committe role. However, this does not seem ro be the case.
    The chair of the governors is upset with the fact that I did not clearly state at the governing body meeting that I also want to step down from the link governor role. She said if they had known then of my decision, they would have chosen another person to fill in the gap for link governor, but now they have to wait until December - the next governing body meeting. She also sent me a (rather) sarcastic email regarding this.
    Do you think I should send her a letter or email apologizing for the mistake that I unknowingly did, or shall I bring up the topic in the next meeting in December, or shall I just ignore the email?
    Thanks in advance for your response.

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