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Tell me about being a parent governor please

(10 Posts)
MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Mon 03-Oct-11 18:55:05

Myself and another mum from school have both expressed some interest in becoming governors, I understand they have several vacancies at present.

Can anyone who else already a governor tell me a bit about what is involved, how much time commitment you find it needs, what are the best/worst bits about it? I don't want to sign up for doing something I will struggle with or regret but I would like to be more involved in the school (have posted about it before, is in special measures ATM with an executive head from the National College whatever that is )

My PFB just started reception so it is all a big unknown ATM

DanFmDorking Mon 03-Oct-11 19:24:34

Best bits: Being involved with the school and making a contribution. Watching and learning how others deal with and solve problems. Gaining in self confidence and speaking up in meetings.

Worst bits: You must think of the meeting as mandatory and sometimes one can get involved with sacking/redundancies and discipline matters.

Because your school is in special measurers. NOW is the best time to get involved because things can only get better!

Being a Governor varies slightly from school to school. The main thing is ‘time and commitment’. You should think of the Governor meetings as meetings that you must attend and arrange your social/work life around them. You should attend the training sessions that your Local Authority provides.

School Governors are the biggest volunteer organisation in the UK. We estimate that it takes up about 35hrs per year although, of course, it depends on how involved you want to be.

Governors deal with Budgets, Policies, Targets and things which are 'a step away' from the 'day to day' running of the school.
Any question like 'My child doesn't ... isn't ... can't ...' is not for a Governors meeting.

School Governors do not run the school; they are there to take an overview and see that it delivers.

Two useful sites: ukgovernors and Governor Line.

I’m sure you can Google ‘being a school governor’ yourself but:-

The Role of a School Governor

1 To Provide a Strategic View
2 To Act as a “Critical Friend”
3 To Ensure Accountability

Good Luck

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 03-Oct-11 19:52:32

You will have 3/4 big meetings that you need to attend and the number of smaller meetings depends on how involved or how many committees you sign up too. All of our governors work and fit it in with a little juggling.
Its rewarding but you do sometimes have to make hard decisions that you may not like.

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Mon 03-Oct-11 19:53:34

Thanks, that's really helpful and I will have a look at the links once bedtime is finished. Felt like it might be a good time as I have just resigned from my job and will be able to do things like this grin

IndigoBell Mon 03-Oct-11 21:36:33

As long as you respect your HT it is really good.

If you don't, then it can be very stressful indeed.

GhoulishGlendaFestersAgain Wed 19-Oct-11 20:45:27

I'm the OP with halloween hat on.

I put in for one of the vacancies last week

I am now a Parent Governor grin

No info from the school yet, should hear more from them very soon.

DanFmDorking Thu 20-Oct-11 11:54:14

Well done, congratulations, I now suggest you do the following:-

a) Read the latest OFSTED report
b) Read the School Development Plan.
c) Get the Meeting dates and put them in your diary (I forgot once!).
d) Think of these Meetings as meetings you MUST attend and arrange your social life around them.
e) Contact your Local Authority to find out about Governor training and put yourself down to attend.
f) Meet and get to know the Chair of Governors and Headteacher.

I have found the ‘Governor Line’ 0800 722 181 particularly useful.

Best Wishes

Cezzy Thu 20-Oct-11 12:04:25

I have just stood down from 4 years as parent governor. When we started we undertook a new governor training course, about 3 evenings over 3 weeks, which went into everything and was very helpful. If you do become a governor, ask for a copy of the training brochure and see what courses you can do.

throckenholt Thu 20-Oct-11 12:05:23

being a parent governor is no different from being any other type of governor - you are not a voice for the parents - just have a parent's view of the school (IYSWIM).

We have a full govs meeting once every half term, and a committee meeting once every half term for each committee - we have 3 main committees - resources and finance (overview of the financial side of the school), curriculum (overview of the teaching side of the school), and health, safety and premises.

A lot of it is making sure policies are up to date, and reflect the direction of the school. Monitoring what is going on - not on a day to day basis but strategic overview. Questioning the Head about any concerns.

It is very dependent on the Head and how their relationship is. We have a very communicative head which helps a lot.

I guess the bottom line is don't be afraid to ask questions - both on the small scale (what does this acronym mean - there are lots of them !) and on the larger scale - why do we do it that way ? etc.

GhoulishGlendaFestersAgain Thu 20-Oct-11 13:52:19

First full governors meeting is in a couple of weeks.

Awaiting log in details for the governor stuff/accessing elearning etc

I am up date with the most recent ofsted, we are due another soon (special measures)

Will find out about the school development plan

Am quite excited now, is that really sad?

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