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Passed over at Parent Council meeting

(28 Posts)
Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:07:11

Went to secondary school Parent Council meeting last night (like Governors for English Mumsnetters) and was 1 of 2 newly elected Parent Members but there are 5 in total. Head wanted a parent for some deputy head interviews next week and went on about how it would be a big time commitment but he'd apprieciate it if someone volunteered. He did also say he might like a male parent as the rest of the interview panel (apart from him) was female. I volunteered (lots of time, ex teacher, been through interview procedure with primary school Parent Council a couple of years ago). My offer hung in the air for a few moments then was largely disregarded. The man next to me said he'd ask for the time off from work and get back to the head but wasn't certain he'd get it. The secretary offered to fill in for him if he didn't get the time off. When one of the others reminded everyone I had volunteered I found myself as second reserve!

I wrote to the sec today and said that having offered first and finding myself 3rd choice was a little embarrasing so perhaps I should withdraw my offer of help. I have had no reply - was this unreasonable?

activate Wed 25-May-11 17:08:20

are you male?

Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:11:05

No - sorry should have said that. I sort of understood the chap offering but then to end up 3rd behind the sec (also female) seems like a bit of a slap in the face.

scurryfunge Wed 25-May-11 17:13:38

So the head made a selection based on gender then? Or was the head requesting applications for the panel as men were under represented? Difficult to tell.

Can't see how gender would be relevant on an interview panel though.

MrsCarriePooter Wed 25-May-11 17:15:20

To the second who is first reserve? I imagine she didn't know quite what to say. Sounds a bit 'You don't want me, so I'm not going to help - so there!' Stamping foot childishness to do that (although agree it's a bit strange that you ended up second reserve.). Don't dwell on it.

skrumle Wed 25-May-11 17:16:04

how well do they know you? i can understand why they would be reluctant to ask a brand new appointee to sit in on recruitment interviews - what if you turn out to be a loon?

MrsCarriePooter Wed 25-May-11 17:17:51

To the secretary who was first reserve, I mean.

Gender (and race, age etc) can be relevant if you want to make sure you have a balanced panel and limit your risk of a discrimination claim from a disgruntled applicant.

worraliberty Wed 25-May-11 17:18:12

I think you're being unreasonable because not only did the Head say they would prefer a male, you are fairly new to be doing interviews. Have you had any training yet? I know as a Governor I did a fair bit of training before sitting in on interviews.

Also, I don't know about where you are but here, there's been a new ruling that you have to attend a safeguarding course first before you can sit in on interviews. The new ruling came about in January.

Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:22:04

I figured it was because I was new too. I'm not a loon, but I understand that they couldn't know that. I was just going to say that I am a local J.P but then thought that I have met 1 or 2 batty fellow Justices so that wouldn't really help :-)

I accept my note may look stroppy but I think if the head wanted one of the 3 old parent councillors he should have specifically asked them, not put out an open plea.

You are also right not to dwell.

nijinsky Wed 25-May-11 17:22:16

Its often mentioned about primary school teachers being predominately female, ditto school governors, etc but very little is made of most managers in some industries being male. Its just accepted, so YANBU and they are unreasonable to make an issue of it. They should be glad someone is volunteering, and what if the other guy can't make half the dates?

Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:24:11

Yes - did all the training for the last set of interviews for the Primary school head teachers job.

worraliberty Wed 25-May-11 17:25:16

To be honest, if I put forward something like that at a meeting, I wouldn't expect a total newbie to volunteer either. Perhaps the Head just didn't think you would...and then felt awkward when you did?

Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:26:23

Posts crossing a little here, the yes was to woraliberty.

Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:27:49

I shall know better next time. Odd thing is he and the chair had just gone on about needing Parents to step up, roll up sleeves and get involved.

worraliberty Wed 25-May-11 17:31:15

But that was a couple of years ago. Perhaps your training is not up to date enough with you being so new?

To be honest, I think you're coming across (with the note you wrote) as a bit Me Me Me. Of course it might just be that you're a little over eager..but on the other hand you might give the impression that you're more important than the others due to you being an ex Teacher and a JP. None of that matters really.

activate Wed 25-May-11 17:31:37

parent councils are ineffective committees filled with people who like committee meetings in my opinoin - so as soon as you get a dooer amongst them it puts the willys up them grin

Groovee Wed 25-May-11 17:32:18

On our parent council, to sit in on interviews you need to do a course and be disclosed. I'd be a bit miffed

Toot Wed 25-May-11 17:38:50

off to make children's tea. Thanks for the vent :-)

Oakmaiden Wed 25-May-11 17:45:33

worra - really, if that was the case the head should have just said "Oh, sorry I really wanted someone who had sat on interviews before/done the course/had more experience in the school council". All of those would have been easy to understand and accept.

To just ignore and pretend the OP hadn't said anything is just rather rude and odd. Don't you think?

fairydoll Wed 25-May-11 18:07:17

YANBU I should have felt very hurt.They were very rude

Toot Wed 25-May-11 19:01:31

What does YANBU mean ?

Oakmaiden, I was just accepting that if I asked was I being unreasonable some posters would say yes. I didn't think it was all about me (as worraliberty indicated) but then we are all different and express things in different ways.

I was a bit hurt fairydoll but after my little vent on here I am just going to get on with it. The other posters have given me a bit of insight as to what the head and P.C chair may have been thinking.

I'm on the council for 4 yrs now so best just push on and try to muck in (I'll beware the willys though activate!)

Toot Wed 25-May-11 19:20:30

Just found what YANBU means - thank you to those of you who wrote it.

Lucyinthepie Wed 25-May-11 19:53:07

I'm a clerk to school governors, if that helps.
I think that the Chair handled this badly. Normally a brand new governor would not sit on an appointment panel because it would be better to have someone who, as a governor, has more knowledge of the school. Key issues for development, things like that. Also, the panel should have relevant training and you haven't had time to do that. Maybe the guy who volunteered has been trained, who knows? But really, the Chair should have given some idea of who might be suitable before asking for volunteers, to avoid embarrasment all round.
Certainly with the appointment panels I deal with, there has to be at least one governor present who has been trained in Safer Recruitment. Which could be another thought maybe?
I'd chalk this down to experience, and be prepared to ask pertinent questions at the meeting if something similar comes up again.
Right, back to typing the latest minutes...

Bernard12 Fri 17-Jun-11 22:37:09

My understanding from also being on Parent Council is that when it is time for interviews it is the head who decides the parents from Parent Council to attend interview and normally the head want people who will agree with them.

To be honest for many years I have been on the Parent Council of local school and attend regular meetings. Normally during these meeting we discuss pot holes and general BS but when it comes to interviewing new staff for either the head or the deputy head the parents on the interview panel are decided behind closed doors with direct input from the head.

You are correct to be angry and should request formal explanation as to why your offer was not accepted. I expect there is hidden agenda.

chelstonmum Fri 17-Jun-11 22:44:11

Does the secretary have kids at the school? if not she has no place interviewing a staff member.

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