Are you a primary school governor? A very simple question...

(99 Posts)
Wigeon Fri 08-Mar-13 13:14:47

...does the school provide tea and coffee for free at governor meetings (full meetings and sub-committees)?

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 20:57:39

Wigeon, £6.50 for tea and coffee is fine.

Pizza and sandwiches takes the piss, imo.

£6.60 is too much, £6.50 is fine? grin

SandStorm Fri 08-Mar-13 21:03:38

I'm no longer a governor but have, at various times, been to meetings where tea and coffee were freely available to all but no biscuits. I've also been to meetings where a couple of governors brought a bottle of wine and nibbles to share and I have to say these were probably the most productive meetings I've ever been to (and no, nobody drinks to the point where they can't make a constructive decision).

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:09:30

I didn't say £6.60 was too much, not for tea and coffee. But it does make a difference, yes. grin

I would have to say my donations, time, and selfless sacrifices give the school a significant net gain.

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:17:45

I would say mine do too - but I would rather we spent the money on the children than my supper. That's over the top, imo.

But a penguin biscuit enables me to serve the children, instead of passing out.

Id be great with pizza

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 21:26:36

You can have a penguin biscuit grin

No pizza!

admission Fri 08-Mar-13 21:38:55

There is something peculiarly british that we are talking about the group of 10 to 20 people who are volunteering to act in a professional capacity to strategically manage schools with significant budgets (my secondary school, is just over £8M) and it is being questioned whether it is right that they can have a cup of tea or coffee when they have a meeting.
Of course it is right that they should. And biscuits, sandwiches and cakes.

BonfireOfKleenex Fri 08-Mar-13 21:49:15

I think just over 50p a month expenses for an entire team of people who do a professional job for free is a bit of a bargain actually.

Hedgepig Fri 08-Mar-13 21:56:28

I'm a governor and we have a rota to bring in drinks and nibbles for for the full governing body meetings . We don't bother with the sub committees.

emma123456 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:06:22

My husbands a governor.. they get nothing... not even a drink of water. The meetings usuaklly involve him getting to school straight from work so he hasnt had time for tea. A cuppa and a biscuit would be appreciated!

Fairyliz Fri 08-Mar-13 22:07:09

I work in a primary school where we have a staff kitty for tea and coffee. All Govenors, visitors etc are made a drink out of the staff supply which does cause problems.
I asked the Head if we could buy a visitors supply, he said no.

BonfireOfKleenex Fri 08-Mar-13 22:11:20

Quibbling over buying a few tea bags out of the school budget is a false economy, imo. Goodwill and cheerful dedication has a financial value too.

lougle Fri 08-Mar-13 22:15:10

What are you all doing having meetings that go on until 10pm??

I'm a Governor at a Special School and our meetings start at 7pm, finished by 8.30.

rabbitstew Fri 08-Mar-13 23:07:31

Not to offer tea, coffee, water and biscuits is churlish in the extreme. I offer that much to anyone who comes to do work on my house, despite the fact I'm already paying them for the job. With that sort of attitude, the school would deserve governors to put an item entitled "Governors' Allowances Policy" on the next agenda, where they could set out clearly their entitlement to claim back travel costs, photocopying and printing costs, childcare costs, etc, from the school. The goodwill generated from something as simple as providing free tea, coffee and biscuits to hungry, thirsty people can lead to the profitable result of the same people being far less inclined to claim back out of pocket expenses.

PurpleBlossom Fri 08-Mar-13 23:23:02

I have nothing of particular relevance to add to this thread but as a Teacher it made me LOL.

The staffroom politics involved in biscuits is unbelievable! People at our school haven't spoken in years over various biscuit related incidents. grin

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 23:56:06

Agreed, rabbitstew - now, where do you stand on pizza and sandwiches? smile

Feenie Fri 08-Mar-13 23:59:49

Lougle, our meetings start at 7 and often end at 10 because our Chair is ridiculous and adds AOB niggles from individual parents which should never be discussed at full governors - all without informing the Head or anyone else beforehand. Drives everyone nuts.

lougle Sat 09-Mar-13 08:21:15

Poor you! Our AOB is usually a sign to get your keys! What are parents doing sharing niggles with the GB? Our role is strategic, not operational confused

rabbitstew Sat 09-Mar-13 08:24:43

I don't think pizza and sandwiches are necessary! That would go the other way and make some governors feel guilty about the expense! Particularly if they didn't like the sandwich fillings grin.

messybedhead Sat 09-Mar-13 08:44:04

I'm hoping that it is just in schools that this stingy attitude is found.

I'm a teacher and I cringe every time the Deputy Head shakes the tea and coffee kitty box as soon as a visitor or supply teacher walks through the door.

I bring in my own tea bags because I begrudge being accused (collectively with the rest of the staff) of not contributing enough to the kitty. This makes him even more annoyed! grin

Of course the school should provide refreshments to the governors!!

rabbitstew Sat 09-Mar-13 08:53:36

Biscuits aren't really necessary, either, really, but at least they last a while, so aren't "wasted" like more perishable food if they are offered but not taken, and are an easy way to make people feel a little bit valued. It doesn't actually take very much to make people who are volunteers feel appreciated, because they are already eager to please, but you don't want to lose the sense of goodwill and wanting to be helpful. You certainly don't want to throw the goodwill back in peoples' faces by drinking coffee in front of them without offering them a cup, too - that's appallingly rude behaviour.

I think that's extremely rude. You can't expect people to volunteer their time and then begrudge them a refreshment because it will cost pence out of the budget. That's basically saying that the services of the governors is worth less than a tenner a year to the school, which is frankly insulting when people are giving up their evenings to attend meetings in addition to their own jobs and lives.

rabbitstew Sat 09-Mar-13 09:27:26

I find being a governor very expensive: I have to donate a prize to the governors' raffle every Christmas and summer and stand on the stall for the duration; I use my own money towards thank you gifts to departing head teachers and governors; I use reams of my own paper and printer ink; I never ask for transport or parking costs; my dh's entire work schedule is based around ensuring I am free for governor meetings without having to pay babysitters (which has actually limited my ability to have a social life with my dh...). It is not my only voluntary role, but it is definitely the most expensive one (and by far the most time consuming while looking for a new headteacher). On top of that, of course, I am expected to contribute to the school as a parent. If I weren't offered tea and coffee at meetings, I would be really peed off.

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