The long awaited update to the Governors’ Guide to the Law has finally been published by the Department for Education.
The Guide to the Law has been on a strict diet and shed a little weight and now fills 210 pages down from 254 pages. One of the major changes is to replace the word Headteacher with Head Teacher 272 times!
Much of the old guidance remains the same with a makeover and re-formatting in places but some sections have
been significantly re-written.
It should be remembered that as the title suggests this is a Guide to the Law and cannot change the law itself. Please check the original legalisation referenced at the end of each section if in doubt.
The major legislation since the last revision have been the Equality Act 2010, Academies Act 2010 and the Education Act 2011 and this is reflected in parts of the guide.
The guide reminds governors that full governing bodies can delegate most things, the significant exceptions being major changes to the way the school is organised; the organisation and operation of, and delegation by, the governing body; and appointing the Head Teacher and any deputies.
Here they seem to have made an omission by removing appointment of clerk from the list of things Governing bodies cannot delegate. However, since the School Governance Procedures of 2003 has not been revised this seems a mistake.
A few eye brows have also been raised with assertion that the Chair of Governors is responsible for CRB checks in Academies. Many governors are asking where that interpretation came from?
There is a brand new section dedicated to Academy conversion. It sets out the consultation progress, passing a resolution to convert and TUPE issues. This guidance relates to the Academies Act 2010.
Constitution of Governing bodies has not been updated significantly beyond changing the name of LEA Governors to Authority. It explains that the Constitution will change and come in to force in September 2012 as part of The Education Act 2011. They have slightly changed the wording relating to electing parents governors using the words reasonably practicable instead of not. Equality duties now makes mention of the Equality Act of 2010.