Joan Sallis answers your questions. We would like to co-opt an additional teacher. Is this allowed? Shall we be accused of over-representing teachers?
In a county or controlled school it is legal to co-opt a teacher either from your own staff or another school, provided you have a vacancy for a co-optee. Indeed in such schools teachers can serve in any capacity - parent governor, co-opted governor, LEA governor. In a voluntary aided school there are no co-optees, so it doesn't arise, though a teacher could be a foundation governor. In a grant-maintained school, however, no employee of the school may be a first (ie. co-opted) governor, though service in other categories is not prohibited.
Do governors' meetings and committees have to be on school premises? We were thinking of making committees and working parties less formal by having them in someone's home.
If the governing body approves the venue it can be a legal meeting anywhere. Sometimes a small group can work as well in an informal setting, but for serious meetings I would say that school provides a setting more conducive to professional attitudes. I think you also need to consider whether meeting in a house creates any kind of pressure or advantage to the host.
Questions for Joan Sallis should be sent to Agenda, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171-782 3200.