Thank you for your article on difficult relationships between heads and governors ("Beyond repair", TES Magazine, May 21). I am one of the heads who has suffered.
A close reading of the law seems to imply that the chair of governors is able to act in pretty much whatever way they like, as long as they believe they are preventing a greater harm. When this is tied in with the ability to discipline the headteacher up to, but short of dismissal, it is a potentially nasty and dangerous mix, poisonous to the good running of the school.
Trust rapidly goes, and other governors, sensing something awry, back off, and do anything other than actually challenge the governor hierarchy as they do not want to involve themselves in an unpleasant situation. I know of other heads - I am in contact with one at present - who have suffered similarly.
Much of the law is unclear and uses vague phrases. I've struggled to find the local authority power mentioned in the article to remove the chair. The advice and statutes I can find seem to say that this can only be done by the governing body with seven days' prior notice.
When there is a dispute between a highly experienced professional body in the form of the headteacher and the untrained or experienced amateur in the form of the chair, is it not outrageous that our law is with the governors?
Primary headteacher, Name and address supplied.