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Being a parent governor - what's involved?

(40 Posts)
ponygirl Fri 04-Mar-05 16:34:17

Ds1's primary school is looking to fill 2 parent governor vacancies and I was thinking of putting myself forward. What exactly would be involved? Would it be rewarding or frustrating? I'd love to hear people's experiences!

Thanks

Anteater Fri 04-Mar-05 16:38:17

search archived messages for Parent Governor, a few threads asking the same thing.

Anteater Fri 04-Mar-05 17:41:48

Oh, and also meant to say that its very rewarding. I have only been one for 6 months but find it fascinating... Of course a lot will depend on the school!
Go for it!

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Fri 04-Mar-05 17:47:03

It's a really great way of being involved in your child's school. It's great fun and hard work, but definitely worth it. Go for it and enjoy. Hope you get elected.

mfh Fri 04-Mar-05 17:59:46

Yes, go for it! I stood and didn't get elected but will try again. Good luck!

SleepyJess Fri 04-Mar-05 18:00:13

A sh*t load of paper work you will never ever read!

SleepyJess Fri 04-Mar-05 18:12:05

Sorry not very constructive. It involves two or three meetings a term (possibly less, possibly more if you are on any committees.) Some governors have special responsibilities.. I was a special needs govenor.. and then you get send on courses.. (which I found great for my own ends because I have an SN child and I learnt a lot from them.)

It will probably take you a year or so to 'learn the ropes' and fully 'get' what is being discussed at meetings.. although I did start to make fairly useful contributions to meetings before a year.it's quite difficult to find your voice initially, especially as parent among school staff. I used to see then as 'God like figures' lol.. but soon learned different! As a parent governor you are a contact point between issues parents may have and the governing body. You have to be prepared to deal with that.. but most of the time parents with problems just march into the head's office anyway and by-pass you!

You may get interviewed by Ofsted if there is an inspection while you are in office.. but probably only if you have an extra 'title' (like SN governer, child protection governer etc.)

You will get police checked (particularly for any issues/offences involving children) and will need to apply for enhanced disclosure from the criminal records bureau.. but the school willl handle all that.. you just have to fill the form in.

We were expected to take an active part in school life.. got invited on trips etc.. all school events (plays, concerts etc)
We used to have 'governor days' were each governor was alloted a class to spend time in the classroom with for a day.

You will also be on the panel for shortlisting/interviewing new staff members.. even the head and deputy.. both of which were employed while I was in office! I enjoyed that actually!

I only gave my notice because I moved away. I actually loved being so pro-actively involved with DS's school, even though the school wasn't doing great at the time. Go for it..! Buy a BIG stacker box to store the cr*p.. er.. important classified documents in .. and get stuck in!

SJ x

ponygirl Sat 05-Mar-05 09:52:42

Thank you for your posts everyone. SleepyJess, thanks a lot - that's opened my eyes a bit. I think I will stand. We have a few issues at the moment (new school building, size of reception class(that's another thread!)) and I'd like to be in a position to be more imvolved with what's going on. Will trawl through the archives too.

Anteater Sat 05-Mar-05 12:53:12

www.governornet.co.uk may be worth a look..

Ameriscot2005 Sun 06-Mar-05 07:28:04

I was a parent governor for a couple of years and I really enjoyed it. I loved knowing what was going on at the school.

The main contribution is to take part in the meetings - 2 or 3 a term and the annual meeting with parents. Also, to attend plays and concerts (which you would anyway as a parent), and perhaps accompany the children on school trips.

The chair of governors has all the paperwork to deal with, and some of the sub-committees involve extra work (eg finance, recruitment) but it's unlikely you would be on these as a new governor.

ponygirl Fri 11-Mar-05 12:08:37

Well, I've put my name forward (eeek!), but there are currently 4 others standing so we'll be having an election. Am quite happy to be a governor, but feel absurdly apprehensive about the vote. Never mind, I can take rejection...

Anteater Sun 13-Mar-05 21:23:37

vote for PONYGIRL
vote for PONYGIRL
vote for PONYGIRL
vote for PONYGIRL

ponygirl Tue 15-Mar-05 17:51:56

Thanks Anteater!

I have to write a short statement about myself and why I want to be a parent governor and I've gone a blank. I've got flu and for the life of me can't think why I want to do this thing! Any suggestions gratefully received!

Cod Tue 15-Mar-05 17:53:29

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Cod Tue 15-Mar-05 17:54:17

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ponygirl Wed 16-Mar-05 09:51:36

Cheers cod.

mfh Wed 16-Mar-05 13:12:38

Don't be shy about telling all your friends that you're standing! I missed out by a very few votes, and it was depressing how many of my friends said the next week that they hadn't known there was an election. The voting forms are probably still somewhere in their children's schoolbags.

ponygirl Wed 16-Mar-05 21:02:20

Ballot papers go out tomorrow and parents have a week to vote. I think there are five of us standing, though one other told me he may not bother to send in a statement as he only put his name forward because he assumed that the usual apathy would be ruling and no-one would come forward. Will let you know the result: I'm braced for rejection!

Anteater Wed 16-Mar-05 23:26:34

2 positions, 4 standing parents.. go for it Ponygirl...

ponygirl Fri 18-Mar-05 10:30:20

Ballot papers are out: there are 6 standing parents! At least if I lose, I'll have 3 for company.

ponygirl Thu 24-Mar-05 16:21:45

I lost! But, they're having another election because the governing body has to be reconstituted, or something. So I could go again...

Cod Thu 24-Mar-05 16:23:02

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Cod Thu 24-Mar-05 16:25:58

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mfh Thu 24-Mar-05 19:46:50

Oh bad luck - I know what it feels like. I'm definitely going to stand again, and hope you will too. The school know you support them, and I think people will appreciate that, and your courage in putting yourself forward.

Anteater Thu 24-Mar-05 19:51:43

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