The local governing board currently has a vacancy for a parent governor. If you feel you might be interested in the position then do please nominate yourself.
Formal qualifications are not necessary to be a governor but individuals ideally must hold the skills and attributes which are essential to be an effective governor; Our current governors have a variety of experiences; some have professional skills and some have qualifications and all are willing to give their time and experience to serve the school. A variety of training courses are available, provided free by the Local Education Authority, and the governing body expects inexperienced new governors to attend at least the basic training course. If you accept a responsibility, for e.g. as a special educational needs or literacy governor, then you will be expected to access the appropriate training and read up on the latest legislation to become familiar with the procedures associated with the role.
You may be asking yourself what you will gain by being a governor. There is the satisfaction of knowing that you have played a part in improving children’s education and supporting the school’s staff. A chance to develop new skills and to practise existing ones, such as working as a team member, chairing meetings, speaking in groups, asking questions, making suggestions and appointing staff.
How much time does it take?
Governors act as a team and, as such, the amount of time that each of them can give to the role will vary. Some people will be able and willing to give a lot throughout their time as a governor. Others will find that the amount of time they can give increases or reduces during that period. But if you are serious about helping your school to help children, then you do need to:
- be willing to prepare for meetings:- there will be a lot of papers to read
- attend meetings:- the full governing board must meet at least once a term, and you will be asked to serve on at least one committee which will meet each term. be able to attend meetings which, quite often, will be during the day, full governing board meetings and sub-committee meetings are usually held at 4 p.m. and can last up to, and sometimes beyond, 6:00 p.m.
- participate:- if you cannot prepare for, and attend meetings, you will not be able to help the school effectively
What makes a good school governor?
- You care about improving children’s educational attainment
- You want to contribute to the local community
- You have the skills and attributes in order to serve on the governing board effectively or have the enthusiasm and commitment to make a positive difference to the work of the school
- You want to work as part of a team and can value the contribution made by different people
- You accept you might need training
- You are willing to ask questions
- You are open to ideas and willing to learn
What can I offer?
- Enthusiasm and commitment
- If you are a parent, your own understanding of other parents’ concerns
- If you have business, finance or an educational background or other skills, required to be an effective governor. It might be that you do not have any of these attributes but are able to demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm and can afford the time to enhance the work of the governing board.
What do school governors do?
- Set the strategic direction for the school
- promote high standards of educational attainment
- set targets for pupil achievement
- take general responsibility for the conduct of the school
- manage the school’s budget, including deciding how many staff will work in school and their pay
- make sure that the curriculum is balanced and broadly based, in particular that the National Curriculum and religious education are taught, and report on pupils’ achievement in National Curriculum assessments and examination results
- participate in the appointment of staff (including appointing the head teacher) and regulate staff conduct and discipline
- draw up an action plan after an inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)
Who sits on a local governing board?
Local governing boards are made up of:
- parents elected by other parents with children at the school
- the head teacher, if the head teacher chooses to be
- a staff member elected by other staff
- people appointed to represent the local education authority
- people chosen by governors from the local community
- in church schools and some other types of school, people appointed by the church or foundation.
How does a governing board work?
A local governing board:
- works closely with the head teacher
- makes decisions collectively as a team
- sometimes delegates decision making to committees or to individuals
- conducts most of its business through meetings, making use of relevant papers and guidance, and advice from the head teacher
But what if I incur costs, like childcare?
Governing bodies are allowed to refund costs, for example, the cost of a carer for dependent relatives while you attend meetings. At Sharples School governors have not as yet claimed costs.
What if my employer won’t give me time off?
Employment law gives people the right to reasonable unpaid time off and some employers give paid leave for school governor duties. Many employers actually encourage their staff to become school governors. They realise that the skills gained through being a school governor are transferable to the workplace. This is something you would need to discuss with your employer.
I hope that you will give some serious consideration to becoming a parent governor. The school relies heavily on the support it receives from parents and would welcome parents who wish to expand this supportive role.
I look forward to receiving your nomination.
COUNCILLOR MRS. C. WILD
CHAIR OF GOVERNORS