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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I need to know how to get an independent governing body to

Customer Question

I need to know how to get an independent governing body to head the school governors immediately
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Could you explain the situation a little more please?
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : Hi Alex I am a parent at a primary school. There has been a lot of changes and all the parents wanted was a follow up meeting as promised. The chair of governors, Gill James refused to have a meeting. I had never spoken to or met Gill before but when the last letter came out and listening to the parents I felt I needed a meeting with her. She left a message saying to call any time after 7o'clock. I called at 9.10 pm and firstly apologised for this. I found her quite rude and she spoke over me an awful lot. She then accused me of being incoherent and under the influence. The conversation went on a little longer and hen she said she would phone me the next day. She kindly did and then confirmed what she said the night before. It was at this point I ended the conversation and put my husband on the phone. He is an extremely laid back man but even he was spoken over by Gill James. The conversation got a little strained and then ended. That was my experience with her. Talking to other parents past and present they have had similar. One of the past parents was a parent governor. She has written down her experiences for me. I have spoken with many authorities but all very clouded with their answers.
Alex Watts :

Have you complained to the Council please?

JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : I have mentioned it to the LA, the arch deacon of Hereford, the education services, the secretary to the diocese
Alex Watts :

The LA would generally be liable for any decisions. You can't force the school do do something but you can make it hard for them

Alex Watts :

1) Write formally and complain to the Local Authority

Alex Watts :

Address the complaint to the Chief Officer.

Alex Watts :

That department will investigate the matter for you

Alex Watts :

If you are still unhappy you can complain to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

2) They are independent of the school and also offer a free servicxe

Alex Watts :

service

Alex Watts :

Their website is www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

3) If that does not work you can consider a Judicial Review

Alex Watts :

But this can be costly. This is where a senior Judge of the High Court considers whether the school has acted reasonably and legally.

Alex Watts :

The Judge can agree with the decision or remit it back for further consideration.

Alex Watts :

But take steps 1) and 2) first.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : Hi again moving on from last information you gave I now feel I have ruffled feathers. Since I last spoke to you I have requested to see the minutes of the governors meetings for the last two years as I understood these where in the public realm anyway. I was told by the school I had to book an appointment and a member of the governing body had to be present and I could not take copies. I duly did this and the appointment happened on Tuesday 29/4/14. As I am all new to this I had to read slowly and ask questions and on reading the minutes realised they sometimes refer to other reports. I asked if I could read the reports if they where available and after two hours only managed to get through part of the minutes. So. Asked for another appoint to continue to be able to read them fully. The school said they would arrange something and get back to me. The following day I asked to see my daughters class teacher. The secretary said the teacher was unavailable after school and would get her to call me. She did, and I realised she was speaking to me on loudspeaker which I questioned at the time. She said she would be available at 10.45 until 11 that morning during break. I went and was not only greeted by the class teacher but the senior teacher acting deputy head was there. Again I questioned this as never before has this happened and I felt a bit uncomfortable but agreed to it. My daughter joined us for 5 minutes explained the situation and left for play. I said I was concerned about all the changes and the effects it was having on my daughter, so when she comes home with a uncertainties that I cannot answer I would go into the school and ask the teacher to explain. I thought this was procedure to be able to ask to see a teacher with any concerns I have be it rarely or often. I thanked the teachers, finished quickly as I was aware of the time and would feel hypocrite if I kept them any longer from class. I left the school at 11.05 am
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : At 2.09pm that afternoon I received a letter off the chair of governors. It goes as follows
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : dear mrs Dowell I am writing to you on advise from the LEA. I understand that you continue to be unhappy with a number of issues at the school and that you have had a meeting with Mr Breakwell before the Easter break. In addition you requested to see the governors minutes and this was accommodated this week. It is my understanding that you were at the school for approximately two hours and am told that you wished to have a second visit as you had not completed what it was you wanted.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : Today I understand that you rang and wanted a meeting with mrs Lewis regarding your daughters education. Although mrs Lewis had commitments she and the senior teacher met with you and your daughter.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : Whilst wishing to be available as much as possible my advice is that you cannot demand to see staff immediately the same day or disrupt the days plans.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : I enclose a copy of the complaints procedure and ask that you put in writing what it is that us making you so unhappy about the school. The full governors can then consider the matter and get a a full comprehensive reply to you.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : I am happy to have copies of the governors minutes sent to you so that you can peruse at your convenience, there will be a small cost incurred as recommended by the LEA. If you wish to come into the school then you will have to hake a prior arrangement at a time that is convenient to the school. Requests must be made in writing from now on.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : I was also advised to ask what was the "end point" of your desire to see the governors minutes is, and what it is you wish to establish?
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : This again should be put in writing to me as chair of governors.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : I continue to seek advise and would appreciate if we could find dome solution to this matter. Please could you advise me on how you want to proceed.
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : That was the content of the letter. The chair is the woman whom I have spoken to twice before only on the phone and both times she was rude and said I was " incoherent and under the influence".
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : As she is at the top I don't know what to do as now feel I am being treated unfairly. Please advise
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : Cannot see your advise can you please resend
JACUSTOMER-dy56n7rp- : No answer recieved

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