Have you noticed?

28th April 2000 at 01:00
I AM fighting a rearguard action against excluding staff governors from personnel committees and I hope other governing bodies are doing likewise.

My spies tell me that the new regulation excluding staff governors from discussions of the pay or performance of other staff was strongly advocated by heads' organisations anxious to defend their members' privacy. This is hardly surprising, and I am sure most governors will be glad to have the promised external assessors handle the delicate matter of the head's annual review.

However, there are many personnel issues which do not directly involve individual pay an performance and it would be absurd to elect representatives of teaching and support staff and then tell them they cannot comment on staffing issues.

Similarly, parent governors are often excluded from complaints or exclusion panels because they involve children.

My school has always held open committee meetings and will continue to do so. Fine judgments have had to be made on whether staff had a pecuniary interest in any matter on the agenda: we shall now have to judge which items fall under the new ban, but that is no excuse for making policy decisions about staffing issues behind locked doors.

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