Gransnet forums


Passing the buck

(9 Posts)
Luckygirl Fri 03-Jul-15 09:27:26

As a school governor I have just received a document with 20 questions to ask ourselves to decide whether we are providing good governance.

One of the questions is: "Do we have a professional clerk who provides legal advice and oversees the governing board’s induction and development needs?"

School governors' clerks are paid a pittance - probably less than the cleaner. We have trouble getting anyone at all to do the job, let alone someone able to give legal advice. There have been times when one of the governors has had to act as clerk temporarily.

The shifting of responsibility onto unpaid, unexamined individuals in the form of governors and their clerk is unbelievable. What business organisation would recruit a board with no parameters as to their qualifications? In our scattered rural community we have a job getting enough people to volunteer for us to have a quorum.

soontobe Fri 03-Jul-15 09:32:55

I would be tempted to write, and probably would
"We would be very happy for you to provide us with someone".

I used to be a school Governor in the same sort of situation as yourself. From what I read, things have only got worse.
I dont think I would do the job nowadays.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 03-Jul-15 09:36:24

Agree with soon. Go on - write it Lg. smile

Lilygran Fri 03-Jul-15 09:45:24

You could also write to the TES. It is nonsense, Luckygirl. Another grandiose government (all parties!) educational policy which puts the burden of making it work on conscientious and committed individual.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 03-Jul-15 09:56:31

Oh dear Luckygirl - your name can be shortened to that of a washing machine! grin wink

Luckygirl Fri 03-Jul-15 09:57:47

I'm a clean living girl!

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 03-Jul-15 09:58:40

Yes. You obviously are. grin

annodomini Fri 03-Jul-15 10:04:35

How things have changed. When I was a governor we bought in clerking services from the LEA and the clerks we had were experienced education officers. Now I suppose the LEAs are either weakened or non-existent, so where are GBs meant to recruit their "professional clerk who provides legal advice and oversees the governing board’s induction and development needs"? Have you been in touch with the National Governors Association?

Luckygirl Fri 03-Jul-15 10:06:49

TES is a good idea. I will think about it.

We are very lucky to have a committed group of governors who regard the school as central to community life, and we have been fortunate to find some important skills within the group - an accountant, a schools inspector (!), a PR specialist, a social worker and a computer wizard - but it is pure chance.

Several governors left when they discovered how onerous the task was - which was the right thing to do - if they did not feel they could commit to it, then better that they should make the decision to leave.

I am learning all the time as to how to do this job to the best of my ability but it is a huge commitment, and I have no relevant qualifications at all. And academies are even more concerning, as they too are run by lay people, with less oversight. We joined together with an academy for a year in an attempt to create sustainability, until we realised how hopeless they were.

Currently we are under threat of closure, simply on the basis of size - why is it that the council cannot understand that small schools are inevitable in a scattered rural communities? - transporting children in mini-buses along our single track tractor-ridden lanes to get them to a bigger school is a huge danger.