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Head employing his daughter - would this bother you?

(24 Posts)
theparrotatemyhomework Sat 24-May-14 10:00:15

Apologies in advance for the deliberate vagueness, I don't want to out myself (hence the daft name-change).
I am a governor at my DD's school, yesterday she brought a letter home with the news that a new teacher is starting in Sept-it's the Head's daughter(NQT), this is the first I knew about it. There has been a major reorganisation of the SLT too, none of this has been discussed by GB, no posts have been advertised, no interviews held. I have only been a governor for a short time and am still finding my feet, but this strikes me as really 'off'.
If this happened at your school would you be ok with it or would you feel uncomfortable working with your boss's daughter? Thanks to the timing of the letter I can't do or say anything about the situation until after the holidays now anyway. Am I seeing problems where none exist or should I contact other members of the GB or the LA and find out what they think? WWYD?

Goblinchild Sat 24-May-14 10:06:15

No advertising, shortlisting or interviews is odd, I'd certainly be asking what the selection process was to ensure that the very best candidate had been selected from all applicants.
I'd talk with the GB and find out what they know about the appointment, then I'd query it with the HT based on the evidence I had.
I'd be fine working with the head's child, if they'd won on a level playing field and were subject to the same rules as other staff.

Hakluyt Sat 24-May-14 10:10:58

There should have been a governor on the interview panel- was there?

If I were you, as a new governor, I would send a "I'm new here, don't understand the process" type email to the Chair, asking how appointments are made,

SavoyCabbage Sat 24-May-14 10:11:55

This happens in our school all the time. I'm not in the uk but it's a state school. Our last two new teachers were the secretary's son and the principals daughter in law to be.

meditrina Sat 24-May-14 10:14:35

If there has been a proper selection process and the candidate selected is appropriate for the post, then it doesn't matter whether they have a pre-existing connection to school staff.

What worries me about your post is that you say the job was never advertised. That is wrong and you should ask about procedures.

theparrotatemyhomework Sat 24-May-14 10:16:22

That's the thing that I am concerned about Goblinchild if there was no selection process and this job was gifted by the Head then there may be the potential for ill feeling with staff who had to prove they were the best applicant for their job. Also the Head is off-site a lot and I wonder if his daughter will be keeping him informed of what goes on when he isn't about, and even if she doesn't the potential of that happening may cause a unpleasant dynamic between her and the other staff.

meditrina Sat 24-May-14 10:16:49

(Context here - one of the TAs at our school is related to one of the admin staff, and I happen to know one of the newish teachers is an old friend of a HoD. But AFAIK the posts were advertised, and both individuals are fine at their jobs).

Panzee Sat 24-May-14 10:19:08

Do you have to advertise posts below Deputy/Head? I know most do but I'm not sure it's mandatory. (Vague memory from TES when I was job hunting years ago).

Dwerf Sat 24-May-14 10:25:22

At our primary school there is a Mrs Brown (headteacher) and Miss Brown, a Mrs Green and Miss Green, and a Mrs White and a Miss White. So obviously related. As all these people are professionals (they aren't all teachers, some are support staff) and work hard, I actually quite like it. It's a pretty small school and having these family members all working together I think reinforces the family/community atmosphere there.

These are my feelings as a parent though, so I don't know how the other staff feel about it.

theparrotatemyhomework Sat 24-May-14 10:29:37

AFAIK the school has always advertised vacancies for all teaching and support staff (even a SLT one a few years ago were the internal candidate was a shoo-in), which is why I'm stressing about this, it seems very out of character.

OnlyOnSundays Sat 24-May-14 13:33:40

My SiL's school recruits NQTs via their LA pool. They've already been interviewed by a panel and had references called by the local authority. They (she's the AHT) look at the lists for suitable candidates that match their criteria, shortlist a few (many of whom already have been offered posts by the time the school phone) then invite them to visit the school for a short interview with the head and a governor (all very informal). Sometimes there is only on candidate as the others have already accepted jobs elsewhere before the day.

My school has done the same in the past. The chair and personnel committee of governors will know, but it isn't automatically shared at every step with WGB.

Whole governing bodies are responsible for strategic matters, not day-to-day running of the school. Appointing a teacher is not really strategic.

partystress Sat 24-May-14 18:11:08

I agree that appointment of a single teacher is not strategic, but the OP's concerns about impact on morale/culture within the school are strategic. Even if this is within nornal protocol for this school, it is discourteous at best, and foolish. Every GB meeting I have attended (whether as parent or staff governor) begins with a declaration of interests - this appointment is one in which the HT has an interest and he should therefore have covered his back.

OnlyOnSundays Sat 24-May-14 18:28:13

Doesn't that also depend on the timing of WGB meetings within the year. Our termly one when everything is discussed hasn't happened yet, it doesn't mean the chair / personnel governors have not already been part of this discussion, just like our has on the appointment of an NQT.
Is the OP aware of what discussions / explanations have been given to the staff? The assumption has been made here that the teachers are concerned about this appointment and it is impacting staff moral. It does depend on the school team and the HT, I would have no problems working with a member of my HTs family.
I agree governors have a vital role to play but to assume every governor will be consulted on every matter is incorrect; that is what sub-committees are for.

HamAndPlaques Sat 24-May-14 19:40:13

Every application form I've seen for a teaching position has asked the applicant specifically to declare any relationship with senior staff or the governing body. It isn't necessarily a problem for a headteacher to employ his child but I would expect him to be carefully, visibly transparent about the selection process to avoid charges of nepotism.

whynowblowwind Mon 26-May-14 22:40:25

In my experience this sort of thing happens a LOT in teaching.

I worked in a school where in my time there a new head was appointed. He was already on senior management and his wife also worked at the school as a main scale science teacher.

Fast forward five years and the heads wife is a deputy head, and all three of their sons are employed as teachers - one as a "tutor" as he didn't finish his degree.

One of the sons wives is employed as a TA, the other is a receptionist.

Really annoying!

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 26-May-14 22:51:02

I'm slightly shock that so many posters seem to think this is OK. It's called nepotism and shows poor judgement on the part of the HT, at the very least.

kickassangel Mon 26-May-14 23:10:54

It could depend on which LEA you live in - there are ones which have a pool of teachers who are 'approved' and schools can just choose one, It's meant to cut down on spending huge amounts of time interviewing teachers, getting governors in etc.

In theory, there's no reason why the head's daughter couldn't have the job - she should have a good idea of what the job entails.

I'm more concerned that you mention the head is often off site. Being in the job, actually on school grounds is really important in teaching. Is there a good reason why the head isn't around? I know some heads spend one day a month working from home to avoid interruptions, but otherwise they should be in the school.

IsItFridayYetPlease Tue 27-May-14 08:55:18

Just to clarify for others - there could be many justifiable reasons for being off-site; training sessions, meetings with other schools (my area is currently having weekly heads meetings), being a head of more than one school, being an OFSTED inspector, working for the LA in an advisory capacity at other schools ... to name a few. That is one of the reasons why schools have a deputy.

It shouldn't automatically be considered a sinister reason for heads to be off-site quite a bit.

marssparklesdownonme Fri 30-May-14 21:14:20

I would be concerned about this. My previous HT employed his wife as SENCO , the fact was she was crap and spent most of her time wandering the school carry folders spying on other staff. When several members went for the UPS her form was the only one not sent to be moderated/checked. Strange ! Luckily they both left when he wanted to retire early.

makemineapinot Sat 31-May-14 23:46:57

We had terrible problems last year when the ht employed her daughter. The daughter was lazy and a terrible teacher, kids coloured in all day and she taught them the wrong way to do things. It was horrendous. She reported back to her mum any tiny little thing anyone said or did and blew everything out of proportion. We started avoiding the staff room as everyone would sit in silence not knowing what was 'safe' to say but then we got told off for going out of school or staying in classes and leaving daughter alone in staff room! My friend's colleague mentored her on placement as a student and was told to pass her regardless of ability as her mum was a ht. So wrong. Fortunately I don't work there anymore and neither do ht or daughter as LEA finally got involved and sorted the situation. Hopefully your ht and his daughter will be more professional than my experience but I would be wary in future!

LatteLady Sun 01-Jun-14 05:21:06

OP, it is probable that your GB delegated interviewing new candidates to the Head c. seven or eight years (although it could be longer) ago as most GBs did, with only SLT roles needing governor input.

You might wish to check who was on the interview panel (I would not be surprised if it was done by the DHT and other members of the SLT). Also you could ask to look at the interview scores.

We has the niece of a DHT, who had left the school apply for a role and in the interests of fairness and transparency she asked for a gov to sit on the interview panel.

As the Chair, I always know which roles are being filled but if there is not a GB meeting before the interview Govs may not know until that meeting. For example, our budget GB meeting was in early May, cut off for resignations is half term, so if it happened after that time other Govs might not know.

LatteLady Sun 01-Jun-14 05:23:01

Oops, apols for the typo, "We had the niece..." BTW, she was the outstanding candidate and got the job.

HarlotOTara Sun 01-Jun-14 06:08:30

As a governor you should ask about how staff are recruited - perfectly within your remit. Is there a policy? Governors at my school would be involved in SLT interviews but not other ones.

abbiefield Mon 02-Jun-14 09:20:15

I appreciate the OP's concern but as others have said it happens a lot and some have highlighted the problems.

The HT of my current school has his wife employed in the school as a HoD. Anything said in the staffroom within earshot of mrs BigEars goes upstairs immediately. It makes for a most uncomfortable situation in staff room meetings ( where staffare often voicing issues privately and frankly and dont want to be called upstairs.

In a couple of instances Mrs Big Ears has been involved in some argy bargy with other teachers causing others to leave.

I can also say she got her job despite better candidates. It was advertised and we had applicants but it was known even beforethe interviews she has got the job.

Of course it all depends on how honest and decent the HT is but in my school its not a nice place to be since this HT took over and employed his wife.

I really do not think such teams should be employed

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