Case study 17

The governing body of a primary school has determined their committee structure, which includes a Pay Review Committee and Pay Review Appeal Committee. At a recent full governing body meeting, the pay review of a member of staff was discussed and a decision was made. The member of staff in question has now appealed this decision. As the decision was made in a full governing body meeting, all members are tainted. The governing body has therefore asked if a committee of independent governors (from outside the school) can be asked to hear the pay review appeal.

There are no provisions in the regulations to do delegate this matter to independent governors. The governing body will have to consider the following:

  • Were there any members of the governing body who weren’t present at the full governing meeting where the pay was discussed? If so, the full governing body could appoint these governors to the pay review appeal committee, purely for the purposes of considering this matter.
  • Are there any vacancies on the governing body that could be filled? The new governors could then be appointed to the pay review appeal committee in order to hear the matter.
  • If there are still not enough governors to fulfil the pay review appeal, the Governing Body could consider either:
    – (a) removing governors (possibly temporarily though this would be by means of an agreement) and appoint governors who are impartial to hear the matter; or
    – (b) amend the instrument of government to enlarge the size of the GB (if not already the largest size), although this takes time and would be a last resort.

These are all difficult issues to resolve. In practice, trade unions are often agreeable for the matter to be dealt with by an independent panel made up of governors from another school, which is what’s being suggested by the governing body however, as noted above, there are no provisions within regulations for this to happen.