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What to do if no faith in governing body or head?

(7 Posts)
OnlyWantsOne Mon 19-Jan-15 20:02:10

I'm pretty involved with local early years provision. I local setting to which my children attend primary so have meetings and lots to do with business management and gov body and head.

I have completely lost faith.

If the gov body are there to be the critical friend of the school as a whole, how can you reconcile that the chair of govs is put in place by the head, all the staff govs are hand picked by head... and you've heard the head say things like "we simply need the right people to say yes at the right time" when I've asked how we get things done...

The chair of govs seems to have some sort of worship thing going on with the male head. It makes me feel ill watching them together.
Am I expecting too much?

OnlyWantsOne Mon 19-Jan-15 20:04:15

Should of added that

I'm unhappy with how my DC are at school following a new teacher and class arrangement

Basically I think the head is manipulative and has the gov body just agreeing with what ever her wants.

lougle Mon 19-Jan-15 20:20:18

There are lots of things you can do.

The chair of governors is elected by the governing body. So the head teacher can't just 'put them in place'.

The parent governors are elected by the parent body - there is no right of veto from the school, even if they are the most awkward parent in the school. The parent governor term is 4 years - you could ask the clerk to governors when the next parent vacancy will arise (all parent governor posts must be re-advertised after a term of office is up, even if the parent governor is willing to serve another term). You could try to get elected on to the governing body.

The Local Authority governor is nominated by the Councillor of the parish within which the school sits. Although the governing body doesn't have to accept the nomination, they have to have good reason. Again, the term is 4 years, so you could investigate when that term expires and canvass the councillor in question to nominate a more distanced individual.

You could look at the constitution and see if all governor posts are full. If there are community governor vacancies, you could approach people who you feel would be more balanced in their support and challenge to apply for a position.

You could ask for minutes of the meetings.

Bear in mind, though, that the role of the governing body is a strategic one. The governing body doesn't get to decide classroom arrangements or teaching appointments (although it's good practice to have a governor on the interview panel, but not required). Where the governing body's role would come in is if the quality of teaching or pupil attainment dipped after such a change - then they could question what was going to be done to improve it.

Maidupmum Mon 19-Jan-15 21:46:58

If you have no faith in the HT or the Governors you can employ the ultimate sanction of removing your child from the school.

MillyMollyMama Tue 20-Jan-15 03:11:59

It really depends upon if the school is any good or not as to whether this is an unsurmountable problem and you leave.

I think the Head's view on getting business done is off hand and rather silly. A Head does not get to hand pick any Governor. Lots of Governorning Bodies do look to the Head for guidance and information and Governors are not there just to agree with the Head. I dislike the term 'critical friend' too. I prefer that Governors have a professional working relationship with the Head which should be questioning but not necessarily critical. It should be supportive but not necessarily a friendship.

The bottom line is that you can put your name forward to be a governor when there is a vacancy. I spend a lot of time looking at the school's performance data, whether we are meeting our targets or not, what we need to focus on in more depth, school finances, building issues, etc. I attend lots of committee meetings and go into school regularly to see how it ticks. Lots more issues come up and we decide and what our strategy will be. The Head is informing us but not telling us what to do. If you went onto the GB, I expect yours would be pretty similar!

NaiveMaverick Tue 20-Jan-15 07:02:33

Generally govs can do very little about a HT. And generally they all like each other - because who wants to volunteer to interact with someone they dislike?

Realistically all you can do is move school. And you should if at all feasible.

If you become a gov you will find you're still absolutely powerless.

DeWee Tue 20-Jan-15 12:15:23

It depends whether this is your opinion or whether there are deeper issues.

The parent governors are elected by parents-and there is no reason why a head-or another teacher can't say to someone "you would make a good governor, have you thought about standing?" in fact it's a perfectly good idea for them to do that. However they can't do force the vote-although a lot of time ime there is no competition.

Community governors are appointed by the governing body, often it is a member of the current governing body who suggests them simply because they will think of people they know when spaces arise, and people who are interested often approach them or the head.

There are generally not many staff members, so not going to sway the governors on vote.

The chair is elected by the other governors from the governing body.

"we simply need the right people to say yes at the right time" well that could be taken two ways: You could, as you obviously have, take it to mean he chooses who he asks and is certain that the vote will go his way.
Or it could be a more flippant response to basically saying "we vote on it and if the people it concerns think it's the right time and they vote yes, then it will happen".
Because the governors are generally split into little subgroups, so some things only some will vote on because it effects that group. The subgroup may be what the head means as the "right people" ie the people who are most involved in that area and generally have the expertese that way. And the right time can mean just that. I know our governors voted against something at one point and voted for it a few years later. Pretty much the same people voting, but it wasn't the right time the first time it was raised and the second time it was time they could take a slight risk.

You obviously think there's some huge problem here, but from what you've written it could be, or it could simply be that you disagree with them at the time and most others would disagree with you. Because there will always be a small subset in even the happiest school who think that

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