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Parent governors

(11 Posts)
Wassat Fri 12-Jun-15 19:42:35

Hi. I have just become a parent governor for my local school. I would be interested in MNers experience of being a parent governor and also any advice on how to be a good one! Many thanks!

TeenAndTween Fri 12-Jun-15 20:33:55

Rule 1: Don't gossip in the playground.

Rule 2: See rule 1 smile

Rule 3: Governors' meetings are not the appropriate place to bring up specifics to your child.

Rule 4: Governors do not interfere with day to day running of the school. They are there for strategy and as a 'critical friend'

Important role - well done.

(Not a governor myself).

cornflakegirl Fri 12-Jun-15 20:46:19

There is SO much jargon - don't be afraid to ask what all the acronyms refer to.
I find the meetings are often quite bureaucratic - lots of policies to review. Very different from my meetings at work - there's an agenda but not always a purpose. Took me quite a few meetings to feel that I was contributing anything.
Work out what sort of governor you want to be. Our head is very keen to have the governors popping in lots and building a list of visits to show Ofsted. I work full time, and can't do that. My strength is data analysis, so I focus more on RaiseOnline and the pupil progress data.

Edna1969 Fri 12-Jun-15 20:52:27

Love TeenAndTween's rules thats a great place to start.

My gov body meetings are pretty good but we have a strong chair which helps.

Since I've been appointed I've asked lots of questions and done lots of training. There is a lot to learn.

Its hard work but can be very rewarding. I have skills which the school can use (sounds big headed but I think its important to add value and think about what you can bring). I'm also really interested in the school and like to know whats going on.

admission Fri 12-Jun-15 21:26:45

Get as much training as you possibly can and find out about the school by visiting with actions agreed with the head teacher. Ask all the silly sounding questions that you want because your are the new person and quite frankly I will bet that somebody else on the GB also wants to ask the question and just hasn't felt comfortable asking it.

Millymollymama Fri 12-Jun-15 22:54:14

I totally agree with everything above. Training is essential and you may find your LA has a session specifically for parent governors. Your school should have a development/improvement plan. As a governing body, we allocate monitoring of the plan to governors. You can therefore visit school to help with this. We also have governors attached to maths and English, and there are lots of other aspects you can develop an interest in, eg finance, health and safety, buildings, assessment, performance management, HR, teaching and learning, SEN, Pupil premium, data analysis....... The list is endless. Good luck and persevere. Keep the children at the centre of everything you do and you can't go wrong!

Wassat Sat 13-Jun-15 09:48:16

Thanks, that's really good advice. I really want to help the school to be as supportive an environment as possible but I don't want to overstep bounds etc!

Millymollymama Sat 13-Jun-15 14:17:33

Cornflakegirl. Just to let you know there are very few policies that must be agreed by the whole Governing Body. The committees can be delegated do the bulk of the reviews and you can then just take recommendations for approval at the main meeting. Takes far less time!

Clutterbugsmum Sat 13-Jun-15 15:31:45

Go on any training courses your LA run.

Ask as many question as you need I found that school staff tend to talk about staff using their first name don't be afraid to ask which teacher they are talking about, again if they use jargon ask what they mean.

cornflakegirl Sat 13-Jun-15 15:32:17

Milly - yes - but most of them are delegated to the committee I'm on!

throckenholt Sat 13-Jun-15 16:06:34

A parent governor is the same as any of the other governors - your job isn't to represent the parents of the school per se. You are just a governor who is a parent of a child at the school by definition - other governors may also be parents of pupils at the school, but don't have to be.

Being a governor - starting out - listen, learn and ask any questions - don't sit quietly wondering what the hell is going on - ask !

You deal with generalities as a governor, not specifics of individual children, staff, or subjects. You have an overview of the way the school works, it's aims and direction. You get to query the head as to why certain things are not going well, and offer suggestions on new things that can be tried in the school (on all sorts of things from buildings, to school connections to other places etc).

Work out which sectors you have most to offer (not necessarily from personal skills, maybe just an active interest).

And take the training that is offered - it is a chance to meet other governors from other schools - can be a real eyeopener.

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