VALE’S LABOUR COUNCIL OUSTS 2 TORY GOVERNORS FROM STANWELL SCHOOL

Stanwell School, Penarth is one of the best in Wales.

Stanwell School, Penarth has 2,000 pupils on its roll and is one of the best in Wales. It received a “double excellent” report from the education watchdog Estyn last year

A row has  broken out over a Vale of Glamorgan Council decision not to renew the terms of office of its two long-standing ‘Local Authority Governors’  on the Board of Governors of Stanwell School – both of whom happen to be Conservatives .   

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) is a former Mayor of Penarth

Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) is a former Mayor of Penarth

The two Conservative councillors are Cllr Clive Williams and Cllr Anthony Ernest – both of whom represent the Plymouth Ward of Penarth. Cllr Clive Williams is a member of both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Town Council. Cllr Ernest is a former Vale Councillor and is a Penarth Town councillor .

The pair have served on the Board of Governors of Stanwell School as the representatives of the Vale of Glamorgan Council  (as the local education authority)  for many years – occupying both the Stanwell governor-seats that represent the Vale as the Local Education Authority .

Stanwell School's motto is "Learning to Excel"

Stanwell School’s motto is “Learning to Excel”

Stanwell Governors are appointed for a four-year term. Cllr Williams’s and Cllr Ernest’s terms of office, which  began in 2011, were due to end in December 2015. Both they, and the other governors, were apparently doing a good job. At the end of last year the chairman of the Stanwell Governors, Tony Rogers, told parents that:-

The work of the Governors is done on a voluntary basis and takes considerable time and effort on the part of the members of the Board. … I place on record my appreciation for the work that they have carried out for the school over the last twelve months”

However after Labour won control of the Vale of Glamorgan Council in 2012 it brought in a new panel system for appointing its “local authority governors” .[ These arrangements don’t apply to other Stanwell governors who are elected separately] 

This system gives each Vale LEA governor the option of either standing-down at the end of their term – or formally re-applying, in writing, for renewal of their positions – and then being considered in competition with other applicants by the Vale Council’s catchily-named “Appointment of Local Authority Governors Advisory Panel” . The panel goes entirely on the paperwork and doesn’t actually interview candidates.

Both Cllr Williams and Cllr Ernest duly filled-in the forms. Cllr Williams was told he had not been re-appointed as his application form had allegedly been “incorrectly filled-in”. Cllr Ernest was told he could not be re-appointed because he was no longer a Vale councillor – even though there is no requirement for any governor to be a councillor at all.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council says on its own website that there is no need to be a councillor to be an LEA Governor - but it's claimed that was the reason given for not re-appointing Cllr Ernest

The Vale of Glamorgan Council says on its own website that there is no need for an LEA Gopvernor to be a councillor – but it’s claimed that was the reason given for not re-appointing Cllr Ernest

A new governor, Mrs A Williams-Brunt, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the non-reappointment of  Cllr Ernest.

According to Cllr Clive Williams it then transpired that Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) a member of the Vale of Glamorgan’s ruling “cabinet” had also applied  to become a governor of Stanwell School but that – unlike Cllr Williams and Cllr Ernest – had been shortlisted and was in contention for the second vacant Stanwell governor appointment.

School chief Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland Ward, Barry)

School chief Cllr Chris Elmore (Labour Castleland Ward, Barry)

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ‘Appointment of Local Authority Governors Advisory Panel’  met last Monday under the chairmanship of Cllr Chris Elmore – the ‘cabinet’  member for education. [Cllr Elmore was also nominated last month as the Labour candidate for the forthcoming Ogmore parliamentary by-election].

The Panel says it is striving to attract more governors with wider and different experiences and now has adopted the policy of bringing governor vacancies to the notice of major employers across the Vale. It has also introduced what it calls a “Skills Register” for applicants. The panel’s policy is that no existing governor has “an automatic right of reappointment”.

After what some sources say was a prolonged discussion, the Advisory Panel decided not to select Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) whom it had put on the short-list.

Notwithstanding  the paperwork problem, Cllr Clive Williams says he received the support of two members of the panel including Vale Deputy Mayor Margaret Wilkinson but remaining four votes went to a newcomer and local business executive –  Mr C Adams – who has  now been formally nominated as  the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s new representative on the Board of Governors of Stanwell School .

Mr Adams’s  appointment  is due to be confirmed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ later today.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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7 Responses to VALE’S LABOUR COUNCIL OUSTS 2 TORY GOVERNORS FROM STANWELL SCHOOL

  1. Chris says:

    Pleased to see that these two Tories have been removed.

  2. AK says:

    The politics of a school Governor are totally irrelevant.

    They are there to support and oversee the management of the school, and it’s implementation of Government policies.

    The rest of the governing body, (who have the collective power) would give short shrift to anyone who attempts to use party lines within the governing body.

    * I am a former Chairman of Governors

  3. Ivor Bagman says:

    Governors should not have
    Political affiliations .
    Why were they allowed to be there?

    • Hello Ivor,
      Politicians from all political parties have been selected to serve on their local school governing body. I believe since the system started by local LEAs. Some schools years ago had difficulty in attracting parent governors or finding community minded people to attend regular meetings. Thankfully that’s not the case these days. However it would not surprise me if there was still 1 or 2 that are still struggling.

  4. AK says:

    The incorrect greengrocers’ apostrophe in the above post belongs to wordpress, and not to me!

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