Seeking advice dealing with a competency issues relating to the headteacher
Insight – Secondary School
What was the issue addressed?
I had to deal with a competency issue related to the headteacher. It was difficult to find a neutral voice outside the LA to advise me.
I used Governor Services Wales helpline and found it lifesaving. They offered confidential, discreet and unbiased advice. The officer was empowering to me.
What lessons were learnt?
The resolution was painful but had to take its course. The support given helped endure the pain.
All schools must have a policy that deals with capability of staff at the school (often this will be provided by the Local Authority) agreed and adopted by the governing body. It is noted that the governor felt the process took time but staff undergoing a capability process must be offered the opportunity to improve.
There is usually a 3-step approach which includes an informal stage with a support programme put in place, to a more formal stage when warnings may be issued, to the final stage of dismissal. There is national guidance from Welsh Government on dealing with the capability of headteachers. The Chair of governors is usually responsible for dealing with headteacher capability at the informal stage of the process, with a capability panel being set up to deal with Stage 2. Stage 3 of the process would be dealt with by the staff disciplinary and dismissal committee.
The Local Authority is the employer of staff in community schools; however, governing bodies have delegated powers to deal with conduct, discipline and capability of staff. Support will be available from the Local Authority however, there may be times when an external opinion will be beneficial to ensure that impartial advice is received. Governors Cymru Services provides independent support for governing bodies in Wales.
Has your school ever had to address a competency issue with a headteacher?
Where would you turn to received impartial, unbiased advice?
Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?