Monday, 12 September 2011

School Governing Body Committees Part 4



Each committee must have a Chair who is either appointed by the governing body or elected by the committee. The governing body may remove the Chair of a committee from office at any time. 


The only legal requirements are that: 

• the governing body must appoint a Clerk; 
• the Headteacher cannot act as Clerk. 

Beyond this, the obvious considerations are: 

• competence; 

• availability; 

• ability to act impartially (and to be seen to be impartial - an important issue for implementation committees). 

A member of the governing body or an employee of the school could act as Clerk in most cases (the latter would need a separate contract of employment). 

However, employees at the school should not act as Clerks to implementation committees dealing with staff issues such as pay, appraisal/performance management, discipline or redundancy. Their involvement in 
pay/appraisal/performance management issues is prohibited explicitly by the School Governance Regulations and their involvement in other decisions relating to individual staff is prohibited in the sense that they could not be seen to be impartial. 


Associate Members 

The governing body may invite Associate  Members to attend their meetings in order to involve other people in the deliberations of the Governing Body and to make use of their expertise.   Associate Members are not governors and may not vote in full meetings.   The governing body can appoint Associate Members to its 
committees.  Where it does so, the Associate Member(s) will have voting rights in committees only if this has been given by the governing body. 

There are however some restrictions  – Associate Members cannot vote in committees when the following issues are discussed: admission of children, pupil discipline (i.e. exclusion of children), the election or  appointment of governors, and the budget and financial commitments of the governing body.  In the case of 
pupils who are Associate Members, they cannot vote unless they are aged 18+. 
The quorum for committee meetings excludes Associate Members.  No vote can be taken in committee meetings unless a majority of those present are governors.
Associate Members can Chair committees, but cannot have a second (or casting vote). 

Headteacher attendance 

If the Headteacher is absent from duty, the Deputy Headteacher or Senior Staff member should be invited to attend on the Headteacher’s behalf although they will not be able to vote. 

(Optional) Attendance of Chair of Governors and other Governors Subject to any issue where it is necessary to preserve impartiality or where attendance may be prejudicial to the workings of the committee, the Chair of governors and any other member of the Governing Body have the right to attend to all committee meetings. 

Other attendees 

The committee may invite other persons  to attend their meetings, either on a regular basis or on an exceptional basis, for the purpose of seeking expert information and advice and enabling the committee to effectively discharge its responsibilities.  Such other persons cannot have voting rights.

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