Case study 32

The governing body had recently suspended a parent governor for responding to questions at a recent PTA meeting regarding the school’s decision to split classes. The decision was made due to falling roles and a redundancy that had to be made. As you can imagine, parents were concerned that their children may be split up from their friends. The suspension is due to end and the governor who proposed the suspension wants the parent governor to be suspending for a further period.

Although the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005 states that the suspension can be extended for a further period, why does the governor want to propose the further suspension? Isn’t a suspension for up to 6 months sufficient?

Governors have to be careful about what and how they pass information on, a breach in confidentiality could result in a suspension from the governing body, however the law never intended that everything discussed by governors should be deemed confidential. Was the discussion at the governing body deemed confidential at the time, which would prohibit this information being reported outside of the governing body? If not, members of the public, including parents, can come to the school to view non-confidential minutes of governing body meetings.

What did the parent governor say at the PTA meeting? Did they simply explain the rationale behind the decision? Was the governor trying to allay any fears the parents may have? Did the governor go against the corporate decision of the governing body and tell the PTA that they were against the decision?

The subject of how pupils are assigned to classes is always a sensitive one, and change may upset both pupils and parents. It is important that the school engage effectively with parents regarding this change. It is also important for the school and governing body to monitor this change carefully to ensure that pupils are happy and they are achieving their best.