Case study 21

You are governor of an infant school and have some concerns about the chair of governors. The chair seems to be making decisions on behalf of the governing body, such as

  • approving an advert for the appointment of deputy headteacher;
  • agreeing terms of reference for a new committee; and
  • appointing herself and another governor as the headteacher performance management appraisers.

You are not sure if the chair has the power to make these decisions, and sometimes feel that the rest of the governing body has no job to do.

None of the areas that are listed above should be decided by the chair alone. To take the matters individually, referencing the relevant legislation:

The Staffing of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2006 requires that the whole process for the appointment of deputy headteacher be delegated to a panel of governors (3-7 members). This would include formulating the advert, job specification, shortlisting and interview (regulation 10).

The Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 states that the formulation of committees cannot be delegated (regulation 51), and that it is the responsibility of the full governing body to determine membership of, and terms of reference for their committees (regulation 54).

The School Teacher Appraisal (Wales) Regulations 2011 states that “the governing body of a school must appoint as appraisers of a head teacher at least two governors, at least one of whom must be a foundation governor of the school if it is a school which has a religious character or a voluntary aided school which does not have a religious character” (regulation 7).

Perhaps it would be appropriate to have a discussion on the many legal responsibilities of governors that lie with the full governing body, rather than individuals, at the next meeting of the governing body.