About Govas

GOVAS works closely with the Stockport Children and Young People Directorate, but we are a fully independent association of governors affiliated to the equally independent National Governors Association. Every governor in Stockport is automatically a GOVAS member (as long as your institution pays their subscriptionof £10.00 PA)and our Management Committee is made up exclusively of serving volunteer governors in Stockport’s schools – nursery, primary secondary and special. Our biggest strength is our links with all the school governors in Stockport through our newsletter, special communications, and this website.  

 

Daisy and a number of fellow governors have increasing concern about the chair of their governing body. He has been chair for more than 15 years and his style is to keep everything to himself, working closely with the headteacher but rarely informing other governors about what is going on until the full governing body meetings. At these meetings he then discourages debate and tends to dismiss comments by members as irrelevant or unimportant, trying to get through the agenda as quickly as possible. Two parent governors have decided not to continue although their term of office still has two years remaining. What can she and her colleagues do? 

There are a number of options but, given that the chair is voted in annually, the most obvious way of effecting change is not to vote for him next time round, providing of course someone is willing to stand against him. Is there a vice chair and does s/he share the views of Daisy and her dissatisfied colleagues? It would be worth ascertaining the strength of feeling among all other governors. 

In the meantime, any three governors can, in law, convene a meeting and it may therefore be an idea to call a single agenda meeting about the issue of teamwork. But in the interests of fairness, it would be advisable to raise the issues of concern directly with the chair in advance of any such meeting. Daisy and one or two other governors meeting with him first might defuse the situation. He may not be aware of how his behaviour is being perceived. A small group meeting will therefore give him the opportunity to listen and respond.

If the outcome of such a meeting is successful - and of course there is always the possibility that it might not be, so Daisy and her colleagues must be prepared for a negative reaction too, - then, as well as, or instead of, the meeting about teamwork, it might be worth considering some externally-run but tailor-made training for the whole governing body on how to work collaboratively and inclusively, stressing the collective responsibility of the entire governing body for all decisions made and thus the need for good communication and transparency between members at all times.