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Governor support with Attendance, Capability, Grievance and Disciplines (part 2)

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Sickness absence involving the Headteacher

This is probably the area where governors fall down. It should be featured in the school policy that the headteacher needs to report their absence to the chair of governors. This is for two reasons. Firstly, governors have a duty of care and need to know if the headteacher’s absence is a one off, if it’s part of longer term sickness, or whether there is a pattern of absence that should be looked into. 

We have a duty to support our headteachers and if they are off with stress or any other condition that may require further involvement from us, we need to be aware of it from the outset. Secondly, we have to hold them accountable for their absence, just as we would hold any other member of staff accountable. You must follow your staff attendance policy - if it states that any four separate occasions or one occasion lasting more than ten days needs to be referred to occupational health, then you must ensure that this applies to the headteacher too. If this procedure is not followed, it could lead to grievances from other members of staff.

Role of the Chair of Governors in dealing with HR issues involving the Headteacher.

Disciplinary matters against the headteacher

Firstly you must decide if suspension is needed or necessary. Suspension should only occur if you are going to investigate gross misconduct. Secondly you must investigate this matter, recording all of your findings to later report as Presenting Officer at the disciplinary hearing. You must assist any outside agencies that might be involved, e.g. police, safeguarding team, etc.

Grievances against the headteacher

You must chair the initial meetings under your teacher/support staff grievance procedure, with a view to resolving the grievance. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, we need to try and solves these informally, quickly and with an unbiased view. Dealing with these issues as quickly as possible stops the people involved becoming more anxious, but also supports them in performing their role to the best of their ability. If there is a grievance involving the headteacher, it makes it incredibly hard to work as a team if issues carry on for weeks.

As always, if you have any concerns, queries or general questions you can always speak to your HR provider.

If you have any comments on this subject, please do add them in the groups.

Popular topics this week (Thanks to our group members!)

  • Where do we stand with GDPR and parents requesting information regarding incidents?

From The Key - GDPR Resource bundle

  • What do you have on a staff wellbeing questionnaire?

From The Key - Staff wellbeing survey

  • Does anyone have a SRE policy?

From The Key - SRE Statutory components

As ever, please leave any thoughts in the comments below and have a great week.

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