To manage their increasing responsibilities, governors are advised to share tasks by establishing working parties or committees, which, like the governing body, operate in the context of the Catholic school's aims and ethos.
Working parties may be set up by the governing body, but have no delegated powers to act on behalf of the governing body. A working party works to a specific brief and then reports to the full governing body on its recommendations. Persons other than governors may be appointed to a working party.
Because, in certain circumstances, a committee may make decisions that are binding on the governing body, committees are subject to specific legislation contained in the Education (School Government) (England) Regulations 1999 (SGR). Governing bodies are advised to refer to the DfEE publication "School Governors: A guide to the Law 1999", where additional information and commentary on the regulations can be found.
Subject to certain restrictions (see SGR 41 and 42), a governing body may delegate to a committee such functions as it may see fit. Subject to SGR 45, 46 and 47, the constitution and membership of a committee is at the discretion of the governing body. The establishment, terms of reference, constitution and membership of all committees must be reviewed at least once in every school year by the full governing body.
Persons (including pupils on the roll of the school) other than governors are eligible to be appointed to committees so long as a majority of members are governors. Members of a committee who are not governors are not permitted to vote, unless the governing body determines that some or all of those persons who are not governors are entitled to vote in any proceedings of a committee. No vote may be taken by a committee, unless the majority of members present are governors.
In the interests of efficiency, each committee should mirror the transactions of the full governing body. That is to say, a chairman should be elected (a committee may not be chaired by any person employed to work at the school or a pupil), agendas and minutes should be published before and after each meeting respectively. The headteacher whether he/she be a member or not may attend any meeting of any committee.
STATUTORY COMMITTEES AND PANELS
The governing body must establish the following statutory committees at the beginning of each school year:
A pupil discipline committee - see SGR 42(3) and 48
An admissions committee - see SGR 42(4) and 48
and as required:
A headteacher or deputy headteacher appointment panel - see Schedule 17 (Paragraph 7) SS&FWA.
(e) A staff dismissal committee (the first committee ) - see SGR 47
(f) A staff dismissal committee (the appeal committee) - see SGR 47