Agenda Item No. 7
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 17TH JULY, 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 16TH JUNE, 2014
C2344 THE STRATEGIC APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY SCHOOL GOVERNORS IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN SCHOOLS (CS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –
Approval was sought to consult with the Vale of Glamorgan school governors on the implementation of a more strategic approach to the appointment of Local Authority (LA) governors in our schools.
Currently the Council appointed approximately 182 Local Authority (LA) school governors. The recruitment and appointment process for LA governors set out in the Council’s Policy on the Appointment of LA governors in Appendix 1 that was attached to the report.
All LA governor vacancies were advertised on the Council’s website in accordance with the Council’s policy. This included those whose terms of office come to an end as well as any vacancies due to resignations. The term of office for LA governors was four years and after this time the Governor Support Unit (GSU) wrote to the governor to inform them that their term of office was due to cease and invited them to reapply if they wished to continue.
The report highlighted where improvements could be made to the current recruitment system of LA Governers under the following headings;
Advertising of current vacancies - At present vacancies were advertised on the council's website but were not always given high priority. It was proposed that the vacancies were given a higher profile and that opportunities were explored with local and regional employers to draw these vacancies to the attention of their staff living in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Potential for panel pre-selection briefing session - In the current arrangements, there was no briefing provided to the selection panel, although the Head of Governor Support attended the panel meeting to advise where necessary. Such a briefing could provide the panel with information about forthcoming challenges to school leadership and also help determine the nature of additional expertise that governing bodies would need to call upon in future years, particularly in schools facing challenges.
Potential for expertise and skill-set mapping – Information, as aforementioned, could play an important part in determining the specific expertise required of a governing body. This could provide helpful guidance to the panel and would be supportive of a more strategic approach to the appointment of LA governors.
Vale School Governors’ Association (VSGA): A VSGA member currently sat on the panel but in a non voting observer capacity. This role could be developed further to inform the work of the panel by sharing intelligence about the challenges and opportunities provided through involvement in the strategic leadership of schools, such as that reflected in the membership of the VSGA.
Potential for Continual Professional Development - CPD) for school leadership for governors- Additionally, LA Governors could be brought together at the start and end of each academic year to develop a shared understanding about successes and challenges facing our schools.
The report recommended that Consultation with Vale school governors via the Vale School Governor Association (VSGA) should take place in the following areas:-
The Chief Officer and/or the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion to attend meetings of the selection panel for LA appointed school governors
The Chief Officer/Head of School Improvement to provide a school/LA briefing to the selection panel in advance of any selection taking place to outline the nature of schools' needs and challenges, where LA governor vacancies exist.
High profile advertising and targeted recruitment should be in place to widen the pool of potential governors.
The GSU to compile an 'expertise and experience register’ of existing LA school governors
The GSU to compile a 'register of need’ for LA Governor expertise as expressed by schools/Chairs of governors.
A selection panel utilising a 'map and gap’ approach based on skills/expertise and school needs, when selecting LA school governors should be established.
The GSU to keep up to date an LA Governors attendance register.
The GSU to work with the HOS/Lead Officer for School Improvement and the JES to devise leadership development opportunities for LA Governors.
The LA governor selection panel to adopt a more strategic and prioritised approach to LA governor selection and one which was more sharply focussed on the needs and challenges of the individual school.
A review and redeployment of existing LA governors to new schools should be carried out to, determine LA governors by needs of the school.
Proposals should be considered by cabinet after consultation had taken place and a new strategy be adopted as soon as possible.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the proposal for consultation and implementation in the future be approved.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) as part of the consultation process.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To ensure our Governing Bodies were well supported with specific expertise and experience.
(2) To provide opportunity for Scrutiny by members.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 16 JUNE 2014