Governor support with Attendance, Capability, Grievance and Disciplines

Vikkey Chaffe
Part 1 I am lucky enough to be an LA Governor for two schools in Lancaster. Last week I attended a training course on how to deal with attendance, grievance and discipline matters and how to minimise the chance of them happening. This blog post will be the first of two and will relay all of the main facts that you need to know on the subject.

Conduct or discipline issues involving the headteacher

There are two aspects of this: formal and informal. Informal processes can involve discussions with the headteacher and giving management instruction. If the matter is formal you will need to conduct a full investigation and a hearing. Please remember that advice is always available from your HR provider. Formal sanctions range from a written warning to a summary dismissal, and can only be imposed by Disciplinary Committee. Sometimes it will be appropriate to suspend a member of staff temporarily, for example, where there’s suspected gross misconduct. This will be a neutral act and doesn’t amount to guilt by itself. You may need to refer to Disclosure and Barring Services/Teaching Relation Agency if the headteacher is dismissed or resigns during the investigation.

Capability matters involving the Headteacher

As with the previous case, there are two aspects: formal and informal. Both of these stages involve setting targets for improvement, identifying methods of support and monitoring. You will also need to determine the timescale for these improvements to take place. This process can result in dismissal and in the case of the headteacher would need referring to the Teaching Regulation Agency. All of these issues can be reduced by regular general monitoring of the headteacher through appraisals and would avoid you having to resort to a more formal process. 

Grievances against the headteacher

Here you also have a formal and informal route to follow. The first procedure involves bringing both parties together to discuss and resolve the issue. As a governor, you must remain open-minded at all times and ensure that you do not reach a conclusion before the discussion has even taken place. This can be counterproductive and lead to further grievances if one party feels that their side hasn’t been heard. Any complaints of bullying or harassment must be dealt with under the bullying and harassment procedure. The best way is to try and avoid all of this by nipping issues in the bud and discussing matters in a calm and neutral way.

Part Two coming next week. 

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

  • What is acceptable to wear in hot weather for male teachers?

From The Key – Staff Dress Code

  • Does anyone have a questionnaire about the Chair for self reflection?

From The Key – Questionnaire for the Chair

  • Who deals with your social media policy/acceptable use for parents?

From The Key Parent Codes of Conduct

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

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Comments 2

  1. Matt Miller 28th June 2019

    It is not correct to say that someone who is under investigation in relation to a matter which may be deemed ‘gross misconduct’ MUST be suspended. Suspension should not be seen as a punitive measure, but as a neutral act founded on reasonable grounds.

    Matt Miller MBE
    NLG Advocate

    • Ewa Jozefkowicz 3rd July 2019

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention and sorry for any concern caused. We have listened to your feedback, sought further clarification from our researchers and updated the blog accordingly.

      Let us know if you have any further questions.

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