Case study 19

A review of the staffing structure has recently been carried out by the headteacher and the proposal is being discussed and voted on at the next meeting of the governing body. In the proposal, appointments are to be made at the school, in addition to the current Schools Management Team, for the following posts and will involve internal promotion within the school:

  • Deputy headteacher
  • Assistant headteacher
  • Head of the Mathematics Department

Governor A is one of the current assistant headteachers and sits on the governing body as a parent governor, and has confirmed that they will not be applying for any of the posts.

Governor B is one of the deputy headteachers and sits on the governing body as a teacher governor.

Governor C sits on the governing body as a teacher governor.

Governor D is the spouse of a staff member at the school.

Who would need to do the following and why?

  • declare a conflict of interest and withdraw from the discussions and voting?
  • declare a conflict of interest and not vote after the discussions?
  • declare a conflict of interest and not take part in the appointments process?

Governor A
There is no conflict of interest regarding the discussion on the proposed staffing structure. However, they would not be able to be involved in the appointments process if knew one of the applicants.

Governor B
There is no conflict of interest regarding the discussion on the proposed staffing structure. However, they would not be able to be involved in the appointments process if knew one of the applicants.

Governor C
There may be a conflict here, as this governor may apply for one of the proposed posts, or gain if an internal applicant was appointed. They would need to withdraw from discussions, voting and the appointments process.

Governor D
There may be a conflict here if the spouse is eligible to apply for any of the posts, or could benefit from internal candidates applying and being appointed.

Extracts – The Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005

Restrictions on persons taking part in proceedings
2. Subject to paragraph (4), where—
– (a) in relation to any matter there may be a conflict between the interests of a relevant person and the interests of the governing body;

– (b) a fair hearing is required and there is any reasonable doubt about a relevant person’s ability to act impartially in relation to any matter; or
– © a relevant person has a pecuniary interest in any matter;

that person, if present at a meeting of the school at which the matter is the subject of consideration, must disclose his or her interest, withdraw from the meeting and not vote on the matter in question.

5. Where there is any dispute as to whether a relevant person is required by this regulation, or by Schedule 7 to withdraw from a meeting of the school and not vote, that question is to be determined by the other governors present at the meeting.

Schedule 7 (reg 2) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2005/2914/schedule/7/made
For the purposes of regulation 63(2) a relevant person is not to be treated as having a pecuniary interest in any matter—
– (a) provided his or her interest in the matter is no greater than the interest of the generality of those paid to work at the school;
– (b) by reason only of the fact that he or she was nominated or appointed to office by, is a member of, or is employed by, any public body; or
– © by reason only of the fact that he or she is a member of a corporation or other body if he or she has no financial interest in any securities of that corporation or other body.