18th April 2008 at 01:00
Q: Are governors of a school under any obligation to reserve a seat on the board for a teacher representing the rank-and-file staff? Otherwise, governors will only be aware of the viewpoints of senior management and unaware of the concerns and morale of teachers

Andrew, Rosshire, Scotland

A: I can see how you feel frustrated by a senior manager effectively "blocking" a place on the board of governors. But there is nothing legally wrong with this.

Why not lobby your existing staff governor? Governors aren't obliged to relay your views to the board, but might feel it would be helpful if they did. You can also look at the minutes to check if they brought up your concerns.

Then, when your current staff governor's term expires, you can put someone forward for election. I wonder who that might be?

Richard, West Sussex

A: I'm worried by your assumption that your staff governor doesn't project the voice of the teachers. It's a tempting view, but a bit simplistic.

The staff governor, like all other governors, is there to make decisions in the interests of the school. They are not representing or championing the specific interests of just one group. Sure, teacher morale needs to be discussed. But the board is not a forum for a rant about poor management.

Chris, Sutton

A: Of course rank-and-file staff should be represented on any governing body.

Senior staff have a different take on what goes on in school. Many teach few hours, have no tutor group and attend select meetings. It is essential that those who suffer "the slings and arrows" have a voice

Sara, Essex

Coming up

Q: Will the fact that I'm teaching maths at secondary level, despite having only done a psychology degree, affect relations between myself and other colleagues in my department? Will they have less respect for me for having done a "softer" subject?

Q: We want to see a greater staff presence around school at break and at both ends of the day. But how much should we reasonably agree to as part of our working week? And at what point does it become an extra duty that we should get paid for?

Send your answer or any question you would like answered by your fellow teachers to askateacher@tes. We pay pound;30 for any question or answer published.

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