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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 7 September, 2015


Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools


Appointment of three Local Authority (LA) Governors to Cogan Nursery School Governing Body outside the normal process


Purpose of the Report

1.    To seek Cabinet approval to appoint three LA Governors to Cogan Nursery School Governing Body outside the normal appointment process with immediate effect.

Recommendation

1.    That Cabinet approve the appointment of three LA Governors, named in paragraph 10, to Cogan Nursery School Governing Body outside the normal process with immediate effect.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.    The school is in a complex situation and the governing body currently finds itself without any of its three LA Governors. The governing body needs to consider a number of outstanding matters under personnel processes which require immediate attention  and the normal LA Governor recruitment process is not due to be concluded until mid-October.

Background

2.    The Council considers LA Governor Appointments via the LA Governor Appointments Panel whose recommendations are then endorsed or not endorsed by Cabinet and this is subject to the normal 'calling in' period.

 

3.    During the summer recess, the Chair and Vice Chair of the governing body resigned from office. This reduced the governing body numbers which were already low.  The governing body currently only has 5 governors and consequently is lacking in parent, staff, LA and community governors.

 

4.    There are currently a number of complex employee relation issues arising at the school which require the assistance of the governing body and the continuity of support from either the Chair or the Vice Chair of the governing body.  These issues have been on-going for some time and by their nature need to be progressed as soon as possible in order to comply with employment legislation and to act in the best interests of the governing body.  

 

5.    These issues include disciplinary and grievance matters which are at a stage which require governor intervention in the context of committees.  Ideally in order to deal with these matters the governing body needs to have a full complement of governors.  This is particularly so as there are competing issues which require there to be sufficient governors to ensure impartiality.  

 

6.    In light of these circumstances, the Head of Governor Support has been assisting the governing body in trying to resolve these matters. However, given the summer recess, this has been problematic.   A meeting of the governors took place on 26th August 2015 to provide an update in relation to the resignations received over the summer recess.  No appointments to the positions of Chair and Vice Chair were able to be made at this meeting.  

 

7.    Other governors (parent, staff and community governors) will be recruited during the commencement of the academic term in September 2015.  Some of these appointments are subject to an election process and therefore it is anticipated that they will take place as soon as possible in September.  However, in the interim in order to expedite a fuller complement of governors, the Head of Governor Support has been able to find three potential candidates for the appointment of LA governors.

Relevant Issues and Options

8.    The appointment of these candidates as Local Authority governors for the governing body during the early part of September 2015 will assist the governing body in being able to function effectively from the start of the new academic term and assist in ensuring the complex employee relation matters at the school can be immediately progressed.  

 

9.    Normally, as set out above, such appointments would be made by the LA Governor Appointments Panel whose recommendations are confirmed by Cabinet.  It is appreciated that this will be a deviation from the normal process.  In respect of the proposed candidates, whilst they have not completed application forms, all are already governors and as such have demonstrated skills, experience, contribution and aptitude which is consistent with the factors the Advisory Panel would normally take account of.  

 

10.    The three candidates are Norman Craggs, Jackie Griffiths and Amanda Tilley and details of their experience are provided in the following paragraphs:-

•    Norman Craggs has been a governor for over 20 years and is currently Chair of Gwenfo C/W Primary School.  He is also currently Secretary of the Vale School Governors' Association (VSGA) and a member of the Council's Admissions Forum. He has recently acted as a non governor member of the staff disciplinary and dismissal committees of two schools.  He has also just finished a term as an additional LA appointed governor at Eagleswell Primary School whilst the school was in an Estyn category of significant improvement.  The school was removed from that category following a monitoring visit in February 2015.

•    Jackie Griffiths has been a governor for nearly 10 years and is a former Chair of Governors at Cogan Nursery School prior to the situation the school currently finds itself in.  She is currently an LA appointed governor and Vice Chair at Cogan Primary School.  She regularly attends governor training courses and conferences to keep herself updated on local and national developments.  As part of the local community and a former governor, she is keen to support the school and governing body at this difficult time.

 

11.    Amanda Tilley has been a parent governor for nearly three years at Cogan Primary School where she was a member of the Selection Panel that appointed the current Headteacher.  She regularly attends governor training courses to keep herself updated on local and national developments.  As part of the local community she is keen to support the school and governing body at this difficult time.    

 

12.    It is felt that the experience of these candidates will be invaluable to the governing body in dealing with the current employee relation issues at the school.  

 

13.    The governing body will be seeking to recruit further governors during the commencement of the academic year and has been apprised of these proposals by the Head of Governor Support and is supportive of these proposals.  

 

14.    Following the decision of Cabinet in respect of this report, it is the intention to inform the LA Governor Appointments Panel of the decision made by Cabinet.  

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.    None directly arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16.    None directly arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.    This report and its recommendation comply with the Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.    None directly arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.    None directly arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.    These appointments will enable the governing body to consider outstanding matters under due processes and fulfil their statutory obligations.

Policy Framework and Budget

21.    This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.    Ward member consultation is not applicable.  The members of the LA Governor Appointments Panel are being contacted in order to ensure they are aware of these circumstances and it is anticipated that this will be completed prior to the Cabinet meeting.  

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.    Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

The Government of Maintained Schools (Wales) Regulations 2005

Contact Officer

John Sparks, Head of Governor Support

Officer Consulted

Mike Glavin, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Responsible Officer

Jennifer Hill

Director of Learning and Skills

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