Attending a governors meeting as a visitor - what to expect

(6 Posts)
Owzat Tue 26-Apr-16 20:32:07

Just that really.

Our chair of governors has invited me to attend a full governors meeting as a visitor - I'm representing our PTA. The idea is to facilitate a closer working relationship between govs and PTA.

I'm not a governor, have no intention of becoming one, and don't know what to expect really. Anyone else been in a similar situation? smile

TheTroubleWithAngels Tue 26-Apr-16 21:07:03

Good biscuits wink They get all of the biscuit budget grin

Smartiepants79 Tue 26-Apr-16 21:11:13

What's a biscuit budget?
I would just sit and listen. Give your thoughts if requested or if you feel you can add to what is being discussed. Governors meetings are generally very dull and go on forever!
Also remember that some of what is being discussed will be confidential.
You may be asked what you think they could be doing to facilitate a better relatinship so come up with a few ideas.

admission Tue 26-Apr-16 21:23:41

The meeting would be in two parts. The first part is deemed non-confidential, whereas anything in the second part is confidential. It is very unlikely that you would be allowed to be in part 2.
Having said that the decisions made are none confidential in part 1, all governors should have signed up to a code of conduct, one part of which is that whilst everybody should be free to voice their opinions at the meeting, it is appropriate that who said what should remain confidential to the GB. It would be very appropriate that you echoed that restriction and did not report discussion only agreed outcomes.
There is a need for school governing bodies to have an appropriate working relationship with the PTA. But I have a slight concern that the GB need to understand that the TA is completely separate from the school and the GB. It is not for the GB to dictate what the PTA do to raise funds or to say what those funds should be spent on. To me that is very much an operational decision and should be between you (as the PTA) and the head teacher, not the GB.
One of the issues we have discussed with the PTA at length is the issue of alcohol at events. As a GB we made a decision that when an event had pupils / children present and it was on school property then there would not be any alcohol allowed. Where is was adults only we did agree the consumption of alcohol. It is a very emotive issue and this could be one of the areas that needs to be discussed.

Owzat Tue 26-Apr-16 21:35:33

Thanks all. I'm hoping I get to leave before any confidential stuff is discussed.

It wasn't about govs interfering in the PTA - more using the pta to get the word out about current gov projects. So hopefully there won't be a need for me to get involved in any contraversial discussion grin

bojorojo Wed 27-Apr-16 00:07:07

I would be quite careful about how you approach this meeting. As a visitor, I would strongly suggest that you are not there for the whole meeting. You should only be there for your item which should be as high as possible on the agenda. Then you leave. You should not listen to the whole meeting as there is no need to and then you will not have any confidentiality issues. Ask the chairman/clerk to put your liaison item first.

Secondly, I would think twice about one person from the PTA listening to a list of projects the GB have in mind - and presumably, want the PTA to fund. The PTA is separate and is possibly a charity with a diferent remit. I woud be more inclined to have the Head at one of your meetings to talk through projects and what might be apprpriate for you to raise money for. Also, the PTA is not a mouthpiece of the Governors. If they want to "get the word out" they can have a newsletter, noticeboard or even write a letter to parents. I think there is nothing wrong with working together to fund projects, but don't be used. The parents will not thank you for it and the PTA should be set up to purchase "extras" and not step in to fund the school when they have a shortfall of money.

Lastly, the Governing Body is there to set the strategic direction of the school. Selling alcohol, or not, is not strategic and has nothing to do with the progress of the children or the quality of the teaching. Anything like this should be left to Head as it is day to day management of the school. This is why the PTA should liaise with the Head, not the governors.

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