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Are any mumsnetters CHAIR of Govs at their school?

(13 Posts)
roisin Sat 29-Sep-07 18:47:47

Is it appropriate for someone to be Chair of Govs, and have little/no involvement with the financial stuff?

Dh (also a Baptist Minister) has been a parent gov at the primary school for 5 years. He has been very involved: goes into school regularly, does assemblies, does work scrutinies, shortlists and interviews job candidates, does sessions for children in lessons when requested, etc. etc.

The school is superb (recent 'Outstanding' from Ofsted and 1s for most sections, and no specific areas for improvement!) and the HT is wonderful, though does have a tendency to overwork herself.

The Chair of Govs was a very dedicated chap who went into school every week to spend time with HT, as well as with the children - listening to readers and so on. Unfortunately he died earlier in the year after being very ill for several months.

The HT is not happy with the new Chair, and the fact that she sees so little of him. And has now approach dh about being Chair.

Dh is happy to continue doing what he does, and to add to that going in and spending regular time with HT.
But he doesn't feel he has 'business acumen', and has never had any involvement with the financial side of things.

roisin Sat 29-Sep-07 19:53:42


popsycal Sat 29-Sep-07 19:56:53

wasnt cod it nce?
or am i imaginiing it (which is higly possible0

inamuckingfuddle Sat 29-Sep-07 19:57:23

my dad was chair of govs at our local primary for years and has no business experience at all - it was c of e school and he was the vicar

SoMuchToBits Sat 29-Sep-07 20:05:18

The chair of govs at ds's school is a parent governor, who , as far as I know has had experience of work at a reasonably high level, but not necessarily "business acumen" etc. I don't think it is always a problem, so long as the chair of govs is available to do a lot of stuff and get very involved. If the HT is happy, I don't see why it should be a problem.

singersgirl Sat 29-Sep-07 20:51:12

I am sure you can be as long as you have someone with specific finance experience on the board of governors to help out. We have an accountant who chairs the finance committee, so the chair just needs to understand what's going on.

roisin Sat 29-Sep-07 21:32:25

thanks all

wrinklygran Sun 30-Sep-07 11:36:37

check out governornet for info and advice. Your headteacher has no right to influence the choice of chair.

RosaLuxembourg Sun 30-Sep-07 23:18:27

I am not chair of govs but am closely involved as vice-chair. Our chair does not have a finance background, nor does she need one - we do not even have any governors with specifically financial backgrounds. She does sit on the finance committee, as do I, but she doesn't chair it. I see no reason why your DH couldn't be chair in that respect but I do NOT see how the HT can get rid of the chair and appoint your DH - the chair is elected by the whole governing body and it would require a vote of no confidence to remove him. Unless she was thinking of asking him to resign - but I can imagine your DH wanting to run a mile from that situation, it could precipitate a huge amount of ill-feeling.

aig Mon 01-Oct-07 07:08:04

I am a chair of Governors ( at a medium sized secondary school) and I don't do finance. I know that if someone was trying to commit fraud I would not notice so we have business/ lawyer types on the finance committee.
The head can't appoint a chair but the chair is re elected annually - it sounds like she wants your DH to stand. I think he sounds pretty perfect as he is already very involved with the school. However he needs to think about his relationship with the head - you need to get on with them; but you still need to hold your own views and not become a cosy couple who sort all business between the two of you and then use governors meetings to nod it through.

roisin Mon 01-Oct-07 08:13:40

Thanks - that's all very helpful: especially about the finance.

Btw I don't think the current Chair was particularly enthusiastic or willing to stand in the first place? Big shoes to fill, and all that. At the time dh was asked to stand, but he declined. But since then he has got even more involved in the school.

Dh certainly wouldn't want to oust the current Chair in an acrimonious debate, but if there were mutual agreement amongst the whole Governorship I think he'd be happy to stand, now you've reassured us about the financial bit.

inamuckingfuddle Mon 01-Oct-07 18:10:40

TES website has a 'staffroom' with a governors' section which might be useful

Tommy Mon 01-Oct-07 18:14:39

I am vice chair of our govs and didnt stand for chair this year as I have 7m old DS3 and life is a bit hectic.

Wouldn't have thought the finance thing was aproblem - presumably you have a finance person to do that anyway.

The chair has a two fold role - s/he has to lead the group and be the main liaison with the headteacher. However, it is up to the full governing board to elect a chair - not the head teacher to appoint one!

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