Case study 31

The headteacher has chosen not to be a governor and only attends the main termly meeting. He sends the appropriate deputy to committee meetings and other relevant staff also attend as necessary. You are also concerned that in doing this, it may appear that the headteacher does not value the governing body.

You are a new governor are not sure if this is common practice. The governing body has an excellent clerk, and the staff at the school are very helpful, but you can’t help thinking that the governing body lack the overview from the headteacher during discussions at governing body meetings and committees.

It is not common for headteachers to resign from their position as governor on the governing body although Regulation 26 of The Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 does allow this. Not being a governor simply means that he has no vote in governing body meetings and is present in an advisory role only. This would not take away his right to be fully informed on everything the governing body does.

The headteacher’s non-attendance at committee meetings is not uncommon, although they have the right to attend these meetings, whether or not they are a governor.

It would be a good idea for the chair of governors to have a chat with the headteacher, and ask if he is satisfied with the feedback he gets from committees etc, assuming the headteacher is included in the circulation of papers and minutes. The chair could point out that governors would like him to be more involved in certain committees, if feasible, to give the school’s overview.