Wednesday, 14 September 2011

School Governing Body Committees Part 6


Many local authorities recommend a separate committee structure for carrying Human Resources (HR) functions. Instead of the previous committees, it is suggested governing bodies establish a single HR Committee to oversee the HR functions and activities such as pay appeals, Headteacher performance management, and the range of dismissal hearings.

The HR Committee terms of reference specifically over-ride the quorums for panels set out in HR policies. The reasons for this is that the Staffing Regulations (The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2003), SI 2003/1963, given under section 35 and 36 of the Education Act 2002) directed schools to move decision making down to the Headteacher, particularly in relation to dismissals, and to reserve the role of governors to statutory functions that they could not delegate (such as performance managing the Headteacher) and hearing appeals. The HR Service has attempted to put this into practice through reviewing the policies issued to schools, all of which were based on the previous requirement that such decisions required a panel of three governors. However we have not made the progress we intended to make and are now some four years away from the initial announcement of this decision and well past the initial compliance date of 2004.

The minimums stated for quoracy are minimums and governors could, if they choose, continue to have panels of three governors if they so wished after adopting this committee structure.

The only other committees that need establishing are the Significant Change and Significant Change Appeals Committees. These committees are only used if there is a redundancy situation and otherwise remain established but dormant. 

It is strongly recommended that all governing bodies adopt these three committees as the most efficient and effective means of discharging their HR functions.  Governors should seek to empower the Headteacher and school leadership team to manage the HR function within the school and reserve only to themselves consideration of appeals, strategic oversight and statutory functions. 

All advice from this 6 part series from

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