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can you be a governor if you are connected to the teacher?

(25 Posts)
Katie172 Mon 22-Jul-13 09:51:06

Thank you Manitz....I wouldn't go as far as saying that our GB our corrupt but I have concerns that they are not impartial and are not acting as a critical friend. I understand your view regarding children of parent governors but as you say your child was 'noticed' in reception and she was not just one of 60 starting in that year. In an ideal world all dc's should be able to have a go at everything on offer at primary school but in my experience this doesn't happen and the same children are picked time and time again. In my honest opinion, these are the children that are noticed right at the beginning........but that was not really the main point of my post. I have a concern that I would like to raise with the GB...if I do this and they don't address it properly there seems to be very little that can be done ,especially as dd is leaving the school in 2 days time!

manitz Sun 21-Jul-13 21:07:29

hi katie, I was parent governor at previous school. My kids weren't preferred but they were more well known and my daughter was in top 3 of her year in sport and succeeded well at the school. I know it wasn't something corrupt but i think it alerts teachers to your children if you are a gov. for example the head knew her name in reception because he had met me and if I hadn't been a governor she would have been one of any 60 kids at that point (starting out).
The head was on our governing body. I believe they have to be and so it is difficult for them to be removed from the GB, governors interview and appoint head teachers and agree policies for how the school is run, we were definitely doing this alongside the head. However, gb also assess how the head is performing and set targets for performance like a manager. I think they should act like a critical friend. DEfinitely make your complaint. It's important the GB hear it, however I understand your concerns, i wouldn't want to go in all guns blazing at a new school.

Katie172 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:10:14

Thank you for all your answers regarding my questions about the Chair of Governors....really helpful info. I have always assumed that there the GB needed to be impartial and I have never thought this to be the case with our primary GB. The Ht is very close to the Chair and a few of the other Governors.I don't know about anyone else with doubts about their Governing Body but I was told a long time ago that preference for pupil events would always go first to dc's of parent governors. I rubbished this at the time but over the last ten years that we have been at the school selection for inter school sports events, academic events, lead roles in school productions...well you get the idea ...the children of parent governors always are always there. If you just regularly looked at the local paper you would be forgiven for thinking only ten children attended our school. My dc is just about to leave and I have a serious complaint about the last academic year which I really need to take to the GB but I do wonder if there is any point............

manitz Sat 20-Jul-13 22:00:25

sorry been away so only just seen this. Thanks very much for all your answers. The head's husband is on the governors and the chair has various relatives working at the school It seemed a bit of a conflict of interests to me, a few odd decisions have been made recently.

starfishmummy Sat 20-Jul-13 19:29:20

We had a married couple who were both governors. They didn't always agree with each other either!

admission Sat 20-Jul-13 19:07:57

You might like to know that the minister for state responsible for governance is Lord Nash. He is a governor at Pimlico Academy and his wife is the current Chair of Governors.

nlondondad Sat 20-Jul-13 17:32:23

To repeat some information already given for clarity and add some new.

1. Term of office of Chair. This is now determined by the GB which decides before electing a chair whether it is for a one year term, or it could be a two year term, up to a maximum of three years at a time. My GB sticks to annual elections.

You can be re elected any number of times -no term limit tho' of course, to be eligible for election as chair you must be a Governor.

2. Term of office of Governors. Four years for all types of Governors, but you may be re elected, or reappointed any number of times. No term limit. (The Head is ex officio a Governor as long as they are Head).

Detail: To be elected as a parent Governor you MUST be a parent at the time of election, so you could only be re elected after four years if you still had children at the school. But you can serve out your term even though all your children have left.

3. Provided the interest is declared there is no bar on relatives serving on a GB. I have known of a Husband and Wife team, one was a staff governor, one was a parent governor.

spanieleyes Sat 20-Jul-13 16:15:22

Our Chair of Governors has been chair for over 30 years, as was his father before him!

wheredidiputit Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:00

Yes you can.

One of our governor is married to a TA at the school and has to declare a pecuniary interest at the start of each meeting.

lljkk Sat 20-Jul-13 15:14:10

One of our governors is married to a TA. I think he might be VC.

RustyBear Sat 20-Jul-13 15:11:19

The Chair of Governors can now be elected for more than a year at a time (since 2003) - but the composition of the board and tenure of governors for each school are laid down in the Instrument of Government for that school, and any proposed changes would mean a new Instrument having to be made.

There are other disqualifications besides failing a CRB check for governors, including ones relating to mental health and criminal record - for example, no one who has had a prison sentence of more than 5 years can be a governor, and shorter sentences mean you would be debarred for a certain number of years. However, there is apparently nothing to prevent someone standing as a parent governor - advice from our Governor Services was that it's only after they are elected that you are allowed to ask them about their qualification status, and if they are not qualified, there has to be another election.

crazymum53 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:39:42

In answer to Katie's question, the Chair of governors is re-elected every year and there is no time limit to how long they can remain chair.
I do not know what happened in the parent governor election at your school but there are some people who are disqualified from being governors and if later background checks such as CRBs showed that the candidates elected were unsuitable this could account for this decision.

crazymum53 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:35:29

Used to be a Clerk to Governors and had to oversee appointment of governors.
The term of office for all governors is 4 years and after that they have to be re-appointed: for parent governors an election is held if there are more nominations than vacancies. For community governors an election amongst the governors would be held if there are more candidates than places, but this is quite rare so good community governors may continue for quite a long time.
Being related to a member of staff does not disqualify you from being s governor, but the governors are supposed to declare this and withdraw from any vote in which they may have a vested interest e.g. pay for their relative or partner.

Katie172 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:17:33

What about the Chair of Governors? How long can they be Chair for? Also we had parent governor elections recently and the results were very late coming out .The Chair and Ht were unhappy that parents had voted for new parent governors so asked the 'outgoing' parent governors to stay on for a year. Can governing bodies do this? If so why do they ask parents to vote?!

Unexpected Sat 20-Jul-13 09:44:35

Don't you get asked at the beginning of each meeting if you have an interest to declare? We do at our Governing Body meetings and that would be the time to speak up e.g. one of our parent governors was vice-Chair of Admissions and in the year leading up to her daughter's entry she removed herself from the Admissions committee and any discussions about admissions at FGB meetings.

ParkerTheThief Fri 19-Jul-13 22:42:06

I've known is the HTs brother being a governor and also a teacher's daughter being one so I don't think being a relative excludes you. Presumably you just declare a conflict of interests for things like pay reviews.

gintastic Fri 19-Jul-13 22:37:06

Our chair of goveners is married to a member of staff. I don't think I ever thought about it being inappropriate, to be honest, but then I'm not totally sure of how governing bodies work.

I'm the chair of the local preschool and our constitution does not allow paid members of staff to be on the committee. We are changing constitution next April which will allow paid staff as trustees, but only in a minority.

Littlefish Fri 19-Jul-13 22:23:59

If a governor is a parent, and their husband/wife happens to be a teacher or TA at the school, then I don't think there is anything you can do to stop them becoming a governor. They would be voted in by the other parents.

We have parents on the a governing body on which I serve - three as parent governors, one as the local Authority governor and one as the church governor. We have to be careful to ensure that new governors (other than new parent governors) are recruited from outside the parent group to make sure that we have enough governors to deal with sensitive issues such as disciplinary matters etc. where it may be appropriate for a parent to be involved.

JWIM Fri 19-Jul-13 21:16:14

Governor term is 4 years unless Gov resigns or fails to attend meetings where there is a process for removing. A Governor (LA, Foundation) can be re-appointed (by LA or PCC) for a new 4 year term unless it is an elected position such as parent governor.

MrButtercat Fri 19-Jul-13 20:55:42

One of the govonors at ours is married to a teacher.A few of us have questioned this amongt ourselves and I think it's wrong.Another member of staff non teaching is too?Gov accountability was an issue on our last report which wasn't good.I think it's too cosy particularly when you get the church who are on the board involved too.

MrsBungle Fri 19-Jul-13 20:48:53

The chair of governors is married to one of the ta's in a school I consult for.

AryaUnderfoot Fri 19-Jul-13 20:47:22

Are you sure about that HedgeHogGroup? The Chair at DS' school is a close relative of a teacher at the school (not spouse).

HedgeHogGroup Fri 19-Jul-13 19:42:29

No, you can't be a Governor of a maintained school if you are related to any member of staff. Can't remember about length of terms of office... its Friday night!

trinity0097 Fri 19-Jul-13 19:34:14

Only pay and conditions type governors need to do that, just opt out of doing that type of role, or abstain if it goes to the whole body for a vote. When I was a teacher governor the pay issue was dealt with by an external person, I.e. someone from county came and did the performance management with the head and chair and made recommendation to GB.

manitz Fri 19-Jul-13 19:25:57

ie, the husband of a teacher or head?

If so how does that work re voting on pay etc. Also please could someone remind me of the rules in relation to length of term? I kno parent govs tend to do 4 years but can community governors do longer?

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