Two governor questions about headteacher pay and clerks

(39 Posts)
Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 19:53:06

I am on the headteacher pay panel. But no one appears to think it relevant that I shd know actual salary. It is all about the points which I get. But the context seems hard to operate without. Am I being kept in the dark for a good reason? Or is it normal to effectively meet to rubber stamp a decision on what to award based on meeting of objectives (decided by others). Also the head seems to want to take control of what the clerk can/ can't do for the governors (I thought was clerk to the governors?) and also about how frequently the gov meetings shd be. All doesn't feel quite right to me.....

spanieleyes Mon 16-Nov-15 20:12:47

There's no need for you to know the actual salary level for scale points ( although it's very easy to find out, just google!) but you do need to know what the school's pay policy sets out as the requirements for progressing up the scale. If the Head meets these requirements ( indeed if any teacher does theirs) then they are entitled to pay progression. If they haven't, then they aren't! The actual amounts ( within the scale points set for the school) should be immaterial!
In our county, the objectives for the Head should be set by the ( in our case) school improvement partner and chair of governors. They then assess the Head at the end of the year against these objectives and recommend pay progression ( or not) It is then up to the pay committee to agree ( or not) the recommendations.

The clerk works for the governors . If the governors are unhappy, they need to ask the Chair to clarify arrangements!

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 20:18:21

Spanieleyes- thank you so much !

ShellyF Mon 16-Nov-15 20:20:30

Salaries are easy to find out....Google leadership pay scale of whatever country you are in. If you have the point you can find the salary.

Hassled Mon 16-Nov-15 20:23:11

There will always be a degree of coyness around actual levels of pay, which is understandable. Your focus though is to establish whether the HT has met the targets agreed last year and so whether an increment is appropriate.

And yes, the clerk is the clerk to the governing body. Frequency of meetings should be set out in the Terms of Reference, which should be approved by the FGB usually at the start of the academic year. What is it that the clerk is/is not being allowed to do?

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 20:35:10

Oooh more good tips. Thanks. Clerk isn't allowed to print documents for meetings any more for governors. Fine for some with laptops iPads or printers but lots of us commute to work and like to read papers on the train. We are careful and selective but head has banned all printing. Not sure she can do that?

lougle Mon 16-Nov-15 20:55:34

If the clerk is printing from the school, then it's the school's budget that is being used. Ultimately, the GB control the budget, so it needs to be tackled at the finance meeting -why isn't there money allocated for this in the budget?

You must know the scale of the leadership pay. It will be documented in your pay policy. It has to be. You don't need to know exactly where the head is, except if they are at the top of their individual salary range, in which case they can't be awarded points.

The HT can only dictate if you, the GB, allow. There are how many of you? You each get one vote. If the HT wants to change something then it can be put to a vote.

lougle Mon 16-Nov-15 20:56:49

Tbh, though, what's stopping you from printing your own documents from email attachments to read on the train?

BackforGood Mon 16-Nov-15 21:03:29

Surely, if you aren't happy to read documents that are sent to you electronically, then it's up to you to print them out confused

Nearly everything I get minutes / notes / agendas / information docs to read for meetings these days comes electronically.

BackforGood Mon 16-Nov-15 21:03:46

oh - x-posted

JWIM Mon 16-Nov-15 21:09:13

If you are on the 'Pay Committee' you will be reviewing the performance management process and that it has been thorough and completed. So if the HT Perf Man 'group' [ours would be a team of 3 Govs plus independent adviser from LA] has reviewed the HT objectives, concluded the level to which they have been met and recommended the increment points then the Pay Committee would usually accept the recommendation if reasonable. Your Pay Policy will say what the increment award should be - the Pay Committee would raise a question if the Perf Man objectives achieved did not match the points awarded. If you would like more oversight of the Perf Man itself then perhaps see if you can change role.
With regard to frequency of meetings - the Gov Body should have regard to the work life balance of staff, and I would say all Govs attending, but meeting dates/times should be agreed by the Gov Body well in advance and need to take place sufficiently frequently to ensure Gov Body meets statutory duties. As for not permitting photocopying - it's expensive and your fellow Govs on the 'Resources' committee may be pushing HT for cost savings to ease very tight budgets. Suggest you ask your Clerk to establish what school resources the Gov Body are entitled to use such as printed/copied documents.

FATEdestiny Mon 16-Nov-15 21:09:32

What are the frequency of your governors meetings? In what way is The Head controlling this?

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 21:11:28

I don't have a working printer. Other governors are on much lower means than me and definitely don't have a printer. The issue was whether the head can make this decision that was bothering me. We don't want the governing body to be only made up of people who are rich. And there is money in the budget for printing. This is why I am annoyed about it. I can use my iPad. But I don't carry it to work so I won't have as much time to prepare. It is symptomatic of the head being more controlling than I am comfortable with to be honest.....

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 21:13:35

Governors meetings were changed to termly from half termly at the heads behest. We haven't had one for this term yet which means we haven't been able to question the head on her school dev plan and the priorities for this year. We tried to probe in summer term but v prickly about writing it over the summer. Chair of govs v much in head pocket so just not enough challenge.....

lougle Mon 16-Nov-15 21:24:10

Canon printer £30 from Currys. It's a bit ridiculous to say 'I could use my IPad but I don't have a working printer...' when printers are so cheap.

As for the Chair being in the HT's pocket -who elected her/him Chair?? You surely all voted on who would be Chair this year? Why would you vote for someone who is in the Head's pocket?

Who agreed the change to termly meetings? Why on earth haven't you met this year yet? How can that be?

If there isn't enough challenge then you're not challenging! The level of challenge isn't set by the Chair -you are collectively responsible and the climate can be changed by just one person.

How many people are on your GB?

loveisagirlnameddaisy Mon 16-Nov-15 21:26:32

When were you last Ofsteded? They are hot on 'effective leadership and governance' at the moment, doesn't sound like that is the case in your school!

FATEdestiny Mon 16-Nov-15 21:30:19

We usually have termly FGB meetings, plus termly committee meetings.

The clerk asks if we would like minutes emailed (straight away) or postal mail (received along with agenda for next meeting). We are asked at each FGB meeting. We actually have the situation where the school office receives emailed minutes and will always email these out to all governors. So we all request postal minutes from the clerk so that we end up with both emailed minutes quickly after the meetings and paper copies of minutes ready for next meeting.

I consider it wrong for The Head to make this decision for you. Have you actually voiced this opinion?

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 21:31:27

I know all of that. My working printer isn't coz I can't afford one. It is a full to the brim with all sorts of stuff and not getting round to it one. And I know re challenge. I was not on gb when chair was voted in or when the change to frequency of meetings was agreed. Why so hostile lougle? I am a new governor with too much on my plate trying to do my best for the school. I am feeling my way and trying to figure out what is reasonable and what isn't. And trust me I do can and will challenge. I just don't want to do it on everything all at the same time. I would have thought head might have said she had an issue with printing and can we change behaviours at a finance / full gov meeting rather than issuing an edict to clerk before meetings have even happened. And I thought it odd re not having met yet too. I am arranging a meeting with the chair to ask about all of these things and more.

fastdaytears Mon 16-Nov-15 21:31:32

I wouldn't expect the school budget to pay for loads of documents to be printed unless someone had a disability that meant that they couldn't be read on screen. Paper and printing is crazy expensive on a school scale. Plus the environment blah blah.

gingerdad Mon 16-Nov-15 21:32:03

My thoughts are with you. Our school was totally fucked by ht / chair of governors / Union rep another HT over points pay rise before retirement.

We found we where beholden to the ht.

admission Mon 16-Nov-15 21:32:22

The first question you asked was whether you should know the salary of the headteacher. The answer is definitely yes if you are on the pay committee deciding what pay rise if any the head teacher should get. We then start to get into areas that make me think that your GB is floundering. Have you set a pay policy for teaching staff (including the HT) for this year - you should have done this in the Autumn Term. The answer from comments is almost certainly no, so was a pay policy decided last year by the GB?
There is lots of talk about formal scale points but actually they went last year for the leadership scale. You should have a range within which your headteacher is paid - do you know what that is?
It is quite possible for the school to have a committee that carries out the PM review of the head teacher but then makes a formal proposal to a separate pay committee to agree or disagree.
As for the frequency of meetings, once a term is not unusual but the most important point is that it is decided by the GB not the had teacher.
You also appear to have a clerk who is completely ineffectual - where do they come from - please tell me they are not the HT's PA or their second cousin.
You need some proper advice as what is going on here. Happy to talk on PM if you want to talk to me as I have plenty of governance experience.

gingerdad Mon 16-Nov-15 21:32:42

Surely school office would print anything you need.

fastdaytears Mon 16-Nov-15 21:33:12

I would have thought head might have said she had an issue with printing and can we change behaviours at a finance / full gov meeting rather than issuing an edict to clerk before meetings have even happened

Yes this would have been much better

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 21:33:56

We are due an ofsted imminently. I agree re the governance point totally. Which is why I am asking these questions! We have reconstituted to 12 recently.

Thethingswedoforlove Mon 16-Nov-15 21:35:53

Thanks admission. I am not quite sure what I need but i think I need it!

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