Helpline

6th February 1998 at 00:00
Q. When we held elections for parent-governors, we only received nominations to fill three of the four available places. We have since found another volunteer. Can we co-opt her?

A. No. Parent-governors must be selected through the election procedure. As a result of your first round, you have a casual vacancy, which can only be filled by election. You must therefore go through the prescribed process to seek nominations and, if necessary, to hold another election. If your "volunteer" turns out to be the only nominee, she will be returned unopposed.

Q. Our attendance figures are being distorted by one very long-term absentee. At what stage can we remove him from our roll?

A. This is one of those questions which arises from the continuation by the present Government of the unfair and misleading "league tables" and, of course, there is nothing you can do. A pupil remains on the school roll unless he or she has left the area, been permanently excluded, joined another educational institution or reached the statutory leaving age. The local authority responsible for admissions could agree to his removal from the roll, but would be unlikely to do so unless alternative arrangements had been made for his education.

Q. What action should be taken against LEA officers who are dishonest when they present evidence to a governors' disciplinary hearing?

A. I assume from your question that the allegation of dishonesty is backed by substantial evidence. If it is, the governing body should tell the chief education officer, who should investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action. If the governing body is not satisfied with the response, the matter should be referred to the chairman of the education committee.

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