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No confidence Vote in School governing ody

(23 Posts)
Soof Sun 19-Jun-11 10:00:10

Can some one let me know if a motion of no confidence can be carried out against school governing body by parents of pupils at school?
Has this ever been done before? and if yes what kind of voting ratio will be required in favour of the motion?
Shuldn't the chair of Governor be elected from Parents Governor as they are the real stake holder not like community governor and ex parent governors, what are your views and what is the Law? Please help.

sparklyjewlz Sun 19-Jun-11 14:43:44

Try googling Governor Services and you might be able to find some answers to your questions.

chocaholic73 Sun 19-Jun-11 16:29:25

Depending on the type of school, Governing Bodies are made up of a mix of parent, community, staff, Local Authority, Foundation etc Governors and they are all equal. The Chair of Governors is elected by the Governing Body and can be any of the Governors except staff. You do not say why you wish to do bring a motion of no confidence against your Governing Body - I wouldn't say it was impossible but very unusual - but I would mention that the day to day running of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher, not the Governors. Ofsted will have given the Governing Body a "rating" at the last Ofsted inspection. I would urge you to talk to the Head and/or Chair of Governors. If you feel this is not possible for some reason, talk to your Local Authority's Governance services which will be listed on the Local Authority website.

Themumsnot Sun 19-Jun-11 16:34:30

Only staff governors are ineligible to be chair. Community/LEA governors are perfectly entitled to be elected as chair and there is no reason that I can see why they should not be. You appear to have some misconceptions about the role of chair.
There is no mechanism by which parents can carry a motion of no confidence in the governing body. You can, if you have concerns contact governor services at your LA who can investigate your complaints.
It would help if you could give some details about the issues at stake here.

crazymum53 Sun 19-Jun-11 19:53:18

What you need to remember is that school governors are volunteers and that many governors (including parents) do this on top of a full time job. The largest proportion of governors is usually the parents but quite often parent governors only serve one term of office (3 or 4 years) and do not really build up enough experience to be Chair in this time. The role of all governors (particularly the Chair) is to be a "critical friend" to the Headteacher but generally supportive of them. Parent governors are elected by the parents, but they have to vote on what they believe to be the best for the whole school and not make decisions that are biased in any way towards their own dcs. Parent governors can stay in office (and complete their term of office) after their children leave the school if they wish to but cannot be re-elected as parent governors.
OFSTED inspections do rate the governors as part of the overall management of the school and if a school is placed in Special Measures then sometimes the governing body is replaced as well as the Head.

DanFmDorking Sun 19-Jun-11 20:20:49

I'm not aware of this happening before.

If you have any concern about the school it is best to approach the Head first and then the Chair of Governors.

You may wish to contact Governor Services at your Local Authority.

The Chair is elected form the Full Governing Body and may be any type of Governor.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 19-Jun-11 22:25:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Themumsnot Sun 19-Jun-11 22:28:38

The next step is to contact the local authority. But it depends on the nature of the concerns.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 19-Jun-11 22:36:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Themumsnot Sun 19-Jun-11 22:54:25

Call the LA and ask to speak to the member of the governor services team who deals with your school. They will be able to advise you further.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 19-Jun-11 23:04:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gramercy Tue 21-Jun-11 09:28:43

There is often the fundamental misconception that a parent governor is representing the parents. They are not. They are representative of of the parents. There is a difference.

Parent governors may take the chair, but naturally there is a high turnover of parent governors. Many of them think the role is more "hands on" than it actually is. A governor is not involved in the day-to-day management of the school - that's why there is a head teacher!

boswellia Tue 21-Jun-11 11:58:54

Agree that the LA is where to go. Governors largely address strategy and leave the operational side to HT, though there's a link so that each informs the other of its decisions/actions. The Gov Body relies heavily on HT input on operational matters, so if you have serious misgivings going to governors may get a thin and drawn-out response. Both tend to have a dread of LA if something wrong is being brushed under the carpet.

EvilTwins Tue 21-Jun-11 19:30:48

The governing body at the school I teach in was dissolved over a year ago as it was felt to be inadequate. I wasn't teaching there at the time, so I don't know the ins and outs, but I know that OFSTED were involved (the governers being rubbish contributed to the school going into special measures) and the final decision had to be made by the government (or rep of - higher than LA anyway). We now have an Interim Executive Board, made up of 5 people appointed by the LA and OFSTED - none of them are staff or parents. They are far more effective, IMO, as they all know what they're talking about.

OP, I have no idea whether your vote of no confidence would have the effect you are hoping for, but schools can and do function without a "standard" governing body if it is felt that the governers are incapable of running the school.

Themumsnot Tue 21-Jun-11 20:43:42

EvilTwins - is your school an academy? In a maintained school the Local Authority has the power to dismiss a governing body where there are serious failings in its governance of the school but in an academy that power rests with the Secretary of State.

EvilTwins Tue 21-Jun-11 22:07:34

No, we're not an academy. It all got very messy. The IEB is excellent though. I'm sure it went higher up than the LA. Maybe there was some issue or argument. No idea - I wasn't working there at the time - took 4 years off with the DCs but managed to go back to the same job I'd left, so I know the school well.

SATsEnough Fri 24-Jun-11 23:22:51

Evil Twins - my local school is on the verge of an IEB (final stages pending sig from SoS). School is OFSTEDed satisfactory but HT untrustworthy and GB a nightmare. Is the HT at your school still in post? The only way forward in this instance is for IEB and HT to go. What are the chances do you think?

<<crosses fingers>>

EvilTwins Sat 25-Jun-11 09:15:55

Yes, the HT went. He was a very nice man bur a dreadful HT. He did jump before he was pushed though. Not to another school either- he left education I believe. New HT and IEB have turned the school around- we are expecting to be out of special measures before Christmas.

Littlefish Sat 25-Jun-11 13:38:05

Who is the body above the governing body if it's a church school?

If I have concerns about the governing body, do I go to the Local Authority, or the Diocese, or both?

SATsEnough Mon 27-Jun-11 17:57:05

Littlefish - there is no body above the GB - they are all powerful.

Remarkably, parents can complain, HT can be dishonest, dismissed for act of gross misconduct (by a panel of three of the school GB btw), have status downgraded from gross misconduct to just a warning (by an appeal panel of three further of school GB btw)(seemingly, the Chair of Governors standing as character witness for HT against the advice of LA - forced to resign by LA shortly afterwards I am led to believe) and allowed to return to school. LA have undertaken within that whole process a thorough investigation of initial misconduct complaint and found that yes, the complaint was upheld in full and that the HT has at no stage been cleared or vindicated. The LA are powerless to act further and parents have no right to know what their HT is capable of and has indeed done. The GB becomes a divisive tool with major infighting (initially 2 of those that dismissed in the first instance remained on GB) between each other (1 of the appeal panel reducing the sanction remains now on GB - 2 others resigned almost immediately!)

Contact with the local MP results in confirmation from the Minister for Education that despite this worrying matter the Secretary of State has NO powers to intervene.

Governors need to be held accountable for their actions however and if the performance of the school appears to be suffering as a result of bad governance then the LA has powers to issue a warning notice to the GB and apply to the Sec of State to replace that GB with an IEB (Interim Executive Board).

18 months on, the LA awaits that signature from the Sec of State, the role of the GB has dissolved into a very public farce, refusing to accept the warning notice despite being urged to vote in favour of it, in the best interests of the children at the school, by both the LA and the Diocese. At least 14 of the GB have resigned (school capacity only around 210), pupil role has decreased from mid 190's to mid 130's. 2 classes are having to be merged. The HT remains in post. The childrens education has become secondary.

So, that's the short answer......and believe it or not, GB's are considerably more powerful in church schools. Don't give up though - I haven't!

EvilTwins - great news, am ever hopeful but I know this HT will not jump...it's just a case of how she will be 'pushed' <crosses fingers>

EvilTwins Mon 27-Jun-11 18:22:16

SATsEnough - blimey, what a farce. Fingers crossed for you. My school is unrecognisable now, compared to two years ago. I hope you get the result you are looking for. TBH, I suspect that failing an OFSTED helped us really - the incompetence of both HT and GB couldn't be ignored.

t1zzy Fri 16-Sep-11 19:20:23

At a meeting at my daughters school to explain the inadequate ofsted report our chairman of governers said that that year had been a very bad year for students, clearly meaning that they were either challenging or not the brightest academically! this comment infuriated me and many others in the meeting How can we change the chairman!!! He is clearly part of the problem....

Themumsnot Sat 17-Sep-11 12:46:41

The chair is elected by the governing body. The only way to change him is for the governing body to elect a different chair. If you feel the governing body needs shaking up, the best thing to do is stand for election - you can enquire from the school about when vacancies might occur and for what category of governor.

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