Q Recently, I have been elected as staff governor. At my first meeting I was excluded from part of it because it was deemed confidential. There were problems within one team over retention and achievement. Could you clarify whether, as a governor, I can be excluded only if there is disciplinary action against me or someone in a more senior position, and that otherwise I have the same standing as all other governors.
A The position of staff governors, and indeed that of student governors too, is set out in the Instruments and Articles of Government. Presumably, as a new governor, you were given an induction programme which inclded a discussion of the relevant documents. If not, insist on your rights to one. I think that you will find paragraph 13 (4) ) of the Instrument helpful. Are you the first staff governor in your college? Your predecessor couldshould have told you about life as a governor, and might have mentioned the corporation's power to establish rules and bye-laws about the conduct of the institution. Incidentally, there are advantages in being excluded from parts of meetings. Since, by definition, they are talking about your colleagues, at least some of the time they will come up with unpopular decisions. Your hands remain clean.