parent governor/pta problems(13 Posts)
I am a new parent governor at my daughter's primary school which she started attending 8n sept having moved to the area.
The problem is the head of the school. He doesn't want to set up a pta. Nor does he want any help from parents in school eg. Volunteering in class, reading, gardening, litter picking etc.
When ever anything is suggested or offered with our time, ideas, it's a flat no or I'll think about it.
I realise it is his perogative being the head and I could understand it if everything is perfect but it's not.
Litter in the play ground, brambles, weeds, school is way below standards for maths and ict. Poor facilities in playground. No lending library, only film club is offered as an after school club, poor availability of 'extras' eg school plays, sports team, musical instrument teaching, languages for juniors etc.
There is a small team of parents willing and ready to raise much needed funded and do our bit but everything is no!
The chair of governors is a elderly ex head who just agrees with the head and his last school is was head of in the 80's is his point of reference.
What can we do?
Hi! Sorry no suggestions, but just wanted to say 'blimey!!' 'What a nightmare'!! Our pta is amazing (I'm not part of it - although I should be !!) and so integrated with the school, can't imagine being without it! They raise loads of money for the school, put on loads of events for the children, and yes, we have lots and lots of parent involvement in terms of reading with kids, talks in assembly, helping on trips etc.... A school without a pta?? Is it really possible!! ... just a thought, but maybe someone in ofsted might have some suggestions???
Obviously there is nothing you can actually do about it, as you say, he is the head. However, where as parent helpers can be create and pta's super useful, they aren't always. Parent helpers can create massive issues and pta's can become quite toxic. If he is so standfast against it then I suspect he had had to deal with issues in the past due to either or both of these groups.
I agree with the above. However you don't just have your Chair Governor, you have a body of Governors - and usually this includes at least one parent Governor. Can you locate and speak to that parent and ask it to be discussed at the next Full Governing Body meeting (termly, usually).
Rather than Ofsted, I'd start with the LA Governor Support team. You should have contacts from your induction.
Which governors do the HT performance management? I would expect it to be more than the Chair - maybe talk to one of them? I would imagine your school is as short of money as any other, so maybe the Chair of a Finance could apply some pressure?
But yes - I do agree that he could have had a bad past experience.
PS - didn't mean it was a perf mgt issue, just that the people involved might suggest he consider it in that forum.
Also, what you refer to as the way your Governing is being conducted is way off how it should be and that needs to be addressed anyway. Governing bodies are there to support but vitally also to challenge and be progressive. As said your local GSU (Governing Support Unit at the LA) should potentially address this. It is not in your schools interest to have a Governing Body who just nod and say yes to everything!
Oh gosh ignore me!! I see YOU are the parent Governor!!! I must pay more attention yes indeed go to your GSU!
I would read everything PTA UK has on its web site and then talk to them. PTAs are separate from the school and nothing to do with the Governing Body so don't confuse the two! As you are new, just listen and learn for the moment and do all the training you can. Get others interested in the PTA. They can start it, but not you. A well run "friends" to raise money is invaluable and a great resource. The Governors should back the idea because it enhances parental involvement. Hope you can acquire some ideas on how the parents can set one up. (Sounds a miserable school by the way!!)
Was also going to say the school needs a 'Friends of the School' group so no teacher/governor input required. Just parents doing a bit to help finance extras through fundraising. I would expect school to let you use school hall / outside area for events/activities.
As a governor your role is strategic and not operational. The head is in charge of operational matters and the day to day running of the school and the use of parent volunteers and/or a PTA is their decision. It is often quite hard for governoring bodies to be clear about their role, particularly if the chair isn't clear.
Agree with "Friends of...." suggestion. Our school has a Friends association which does not have any staff (not through bad feeling - it's a tiny school, not many staff and they're snowed under). We have an excellent relationship with school but remain completely separate from it. HT likes this arrangement as it gives him less one less thing to 'manage'.
Hard to set-up and survive as a stand alone organisation as the natural coming and going of families leaves little consistency and stability, but it only takes a couple of eager beavers to motivate people. The HT might come round to the idea when he sees the benefits.
PTA-UK is an excellent resource.
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