Head Teachers and Governing Bodies working together.

Terence Ayres's picture
Of the many problems posed by the Dfe and Ofsted is the quality of information available to School Governors. Two specific issues causing many Governing Bodies, and ours is no exception, are

1. the accurate recording and compiling the Minutes of Committee Meetings and

2. cost of goverance.

At a recent meeting of our Governing Body both concerns were discussed.concern was expressed that committee members delegated to compile committe reports found difficulty in taking notes and contributing to the discussion and each lacked experience in taking Minutes – as a great deal of the work of the Governing Body is delegated to Committees and with the increasing demands placed on Governance it was vital that an accurate record of the of all Committee meetings are produced. The suggestions were

1. That our Clerk to the Governors who we employ on an hours basis for our six Governing Body meetings extend her contract to include the twenty committee meetings held annually – sadly because of work commitments it would not be possible.

2. We approach a Clerking Agency to provide a Clerk to record Committee meetings. I informed Governors that I had looked at the cost of employing an Agency Clerk for the twenty committee meeeting we hold annualy - costs ranged from £250 - £350 per meeting (£5000 to £7000 p.a.). The Head Teacher pointed out that as the Governors did not have a budget the additional cost would have to be paid for out of his diminishing school budget.

However he did offer a practical 5 point solution that could be a model for Governing Bodies employing their own Clerk to Governors:

1.  Each Committee has a membership of 5 governors (quorum of 3).

2.  Meetings to be held in school time.

3.  The School Secretary or Admin Officer would prepare a Report for publication by the Clerk to the Governors.

4.  Using administration staff would make any rescheduling of meeting easier and avoid any rescheduling and cancellation costs,

5.  Members could concentrate on Committee business and an accurate report of the meeting available to governors; most important in our Ofsted Inspection year.

He also added that the meeting management system used by the Governing Body provided for an unlimited number of meetings so utilising the services of a member of his admin staff for the twenty Committee meetings would incur no cost; total cost for all twentysix governors meetings paid out of the school budget would be £790 + VAT p.a.which included Clerking Fees and subscription to the system we use.

Having worked with the same Head Teacher for over twenty years having a new, some say too young head teacher, there would be a period of settling in; such is the quality of the young man and his detemination to work positively with governors the management of our school is in good hands.

Anyone wishing more information please contact me, e-mail; tayres01@googlemail.com

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