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Would you vote for me as a parent govenor?

(26 Posts)
NemoRocksMyWorld Thu 21-Sep-17 22:07:02

Hey,

We have just had forms home for parent govenors. I have two kids currently at the school (yr 2 and yr4) and two preschoolers who will go there. My eldest has asd and dcd (dyspraxia) and the school have been amazing. Right from reception they have been so excellent. They have put loads in place (even pre diagnosis) and as a result he is doing amazingly well.

I really want to contribute something back to the school! I was born in the area. I am a paediatric registrar and want to specialise in community paeds so have some relevant experience.

I have spoken to husband and family and they are happy to support time requirement.

But I'm still a bit nervy about putting myself forward! I'm friendly at the school gates, but I'm no queen bee...... Especially seeing as am usually dealing with toddler and baby.

Is already an outstanding school and probably will go to votes, so worried no one will vote for me.... And will I even be useful?

What do you think?

2014newme Thu 21-Sep-17 22:09:09

Yes I would. No worries of the governors at our school are queen bees they are reliable diligent committed people. They are not attention seekers in fact quite the opposite

Viviennemary Thu 21-Sep-17 22:11:45

I'd make sure I didn't vote for any Queen Bee. I think it's quite important what you write on the blurb to appeal to folk that don't know you. Of course you'll be useful.

Ttbb Thu 21-Sep-17 22:14:17

Yes, I would much rather a pediatric registrar than yet another member of the Joules crew.

NemoRocksMyWorld Thu 21-Sep-17 22:17:03

Thanks so much..... Feeling a bit more confident now!

PartOstrich Thu 21-Sep-17 22:18:59

Go for it! You sound like you personally have so much to offer.

And it is really important that parents of children with SEND are represented amongst school governors.

Don't hate me for being pedantic but make sure you spell check your application/candidate statement as you have mistyped the word governor in your post!

Shylo Thu 21-Sep-17 22:20:02

Definitely! Go for it ..... none of our governors have been queen (or king!) bees; usually the quieter, committed parents who are willing to go the extra mile and put in the effort.

I'd like the fact you have current and future children at the school so a long term commitment to it, and the fact that you work with children would be a plus

geogteach Thu 21-Sep-17 22:20:25

Think about what
You
Can offer. The governing body should have a skills audit and if you can meet Any
Gaps definitely emphasis these. My guess would be you have Safegaurding knowledge and possibly knowledge about disadvantaged children (dh is community
Pead). I am a foundation governor is a secondary school and there is not always a ballot even in a successful school people
Don't always stand. Would also recommend speaking to the chair, they will give you an idea what areas of expertise the board currently requires

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 21-Sep-17 22:25:03

Queen Bees tend to go for PTA committee so they can flaunt their fabulousness!

I'd vote for you. I used to be a parent governor. I had to write a short blurb. I was a solicitor and also a Trustee of a local children's hospice. I was later told by a few people that they voted for me because I would make sensible decisions for the school and not just to further my child!

NemoRocksMyWorld Thu 21-Sep-17 22:26:18

Ooooops..... Will Def get the spellchecker out! This is like when I attended a grammar school and spelt it wrong the whole time I was there....

Smitff Thu 21-Sep-17 22:29:02

Yes! Definitely you over the chatty/uncomfortably overly social types!

Alanna1 Thu 21-Sep-17 22:31:06

I wouldn't emphasise the SN over your other children and your professional experience. A balance is what would appeal to me.

GrockleBocs Thu 21-Sep-17 22:31:51

You sound like a great choice smile In it for the long term too.

2gorgeousboys Thu 21-Sep-17 22:37:37

I agree that it's about emphasising the skills you could bring to the role. I would also speak to the governing body as it maybe that, following a skills audit, you could bring experience to the GB and they may co-opt you anyway.

Blossomdeary Thu 21-Sep-17 22:38:25

I am a community governor.

Being voted in by the other parents is a bit of a lottery, but if they have two-penn'oth of sense they will look at your history and put their cross by your name.

It is hard work though......lots of stuff that you have to get your head around, courses, committies, jargon, and if you have such a wonderful collection of little ones you may like to think about the time commitment.

elkiedee Thu 21-Sep-17 23:50:14

I would vote for you, but given your experience, I would also ask the school if they need any other governors. One of the governors on my governing body approached us to expect interest at a point when all our parent governor vancancies were filled, but he has property management and business experience and there was space for a co-opted governor.

DS1 has started year 6 and has been there since nursery, and in the last 7 years I remember one contested election, though I'm now worrying about the possibility of there being another one as I have to put myself forward for another term of office after 4 years - I can't believe it's so long - DS2 is only in Y4 so has nearly 3 years still to go.

BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Sep-17 01:23:04

I am a Governor and have been a clerk to Governors and a trainer of Governors. I would advise that you don't go overboard on your SEN interest because, as a Governor, you must consider all the children in the school. Clearly the school is doing a great job with SEN so it could appear that you are seen by other parents to be banging a drum that doesn't need banging! You don't want to be a single issue Governor or seen to be just interested in your own child.

Your skills are broader than that and before you write anything, look up what Governors do on the Government's web site and see how your skills fit into the wider picture. Are you committed to raising standards, closing the gap, setting performance management objectives that really move the school forward and making sure there is quality first teaching etc? You will find lots of areas of governance that may interest you. The Ofsted Inspection Handbook is also really good background reading for would-be Governors.

Do remember that you are not a parent delegate and are not representing parents at meetings. Most parents who vote want a sensible and well rounded Governor who will be diligent and act in the best interests of the children and the school.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 22-Sep-17 01:41:34

IME (and it is just two schools) people tend to vote for the person who is most "like us". So the people who fill their bio with wanky management speak, who imply they are going to sweep in and fix stuff, who willy wave about what a wonderful catch their skillset will be for the school, or who sound like they have bee in their bonnet tend to be the ones who don't get the votes.
The ones who sound approachable, ordinary and emphasize their focus on supporting the school so that all children get a great education are the ones who seem to do best.
Remember - most of the people voting think a parent governor represents the voice of the parents. This absolutely isn't the role of a governor - but it helps if the parents feel that you have similar aspirations and concerns.

Witchend Fri 22-Sep-17 10:09:48

Dh has been a parent governor now for over 10 years (2 different schools) and they don't often end up going to a vote. Ironically at the second school he's at it did.

He says as a rough rule of thumb there are three kinds of candidates:

Those who want to give back to the school and have a skill set the governors can use.
Those who think being a governor will look good on the CV for no effort.
Those who have a bee in their bonnet/think being a governor gives them perks.

The first set are usually good and stay long term. The latter two only turn up when it's a social and they can pin the head teacher/senior leadership down to talk about their bee in the bonnet or their wonderfully not being extended genius children. wink They don't usually last long enough to stand again.

By the sound of it, you're the first category, so I think the advice in stressing what you can bring to the team is correct for him.

Charmatt Fri 22-Sep-17 14:58:16

A governing body should be skills led, ie, you should have something relevant to offer and not just there to make the numbers up. By what you've said, you have the following skills and experience:
SEND
Experience in paediatrics and an existing professional relationship with schools.
A knowledge of processes and procedures within the public sector.
Knowledge of safeguarding and child protection.
You are based in the community and have a family investment in the school.

I manage governance for a MAT and I think you have a great attitude and really good attributes (even better that you are not a Queen Bee!)

BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Sep-17 16:15:27

The only thing is Charmatt, is that those skills are very niche for a Govening Body and frequently are a very minor part of the work. That is why I said to look at the broader picture and see how the skills transfer to school Governance as a whole. We have never, for example, recruited someone because they know about safeguarding. It is confidential information within school and not shared with Governors anyway. All our staff are fully trained on safeguarding. Paediatrics has little to do with governance of a school, but the skills you utilise when doing your job would be greatly valued. It is child-centred after all! The actual processes and procedures in the health service are very little to do with Governors but using your transferable skills to enhance the education and opprtunities at the school are worthwhile and you should concentrate on this. Try and explain why your skills are useful to the Governing Body, based on what they actually do, rather than what you do. As you are a Doctor, we can all agree you are a good egg.!

Charmatt Fri 22-Sep-17 17:13:10

I disagree. You can be trained for safeguarding, but using it as an integral part of your job gives you new insight - ability to suggest practice that works, even through small tweaks that remain in the procedures helps. Also an understanding of how agencies share information and in what circumstances they need permission first, etc is vital when looking at safeguarding processes in practice. Our Child Safeguarding Board insists that a checklist is completed in school by a governor, which includes a file audit using an anonomised confidential file, so someone who understands this area would be an asset to one of my govening bodies.
Similarly, paediatric practice means that the OP will have good insight into child development, especially physical and emotional development of children and the support available to enable the school to encourage parents to ask for referral when difficulties arise that are identified early through the school.
That also feeds into monitoring of sports funding and use of it for wider benefit of development of fundamental movement and increased physical fitness and development.
Multi agency meetings will be understood and that practice that may be adopted elsewhere can be discussed and experience offered for smarter working. This is important in understanding the SEND procedures and the work put in by schools to support pupils with needs.
Basic processes used by public administration are not that different - pay and conditions, HR processes, safer recruitment and premises management follow similar procedures. Anyone who has been party to that in health or the local authority will understand the processes that schools have to use too, making them a useful governor when it comes to personnel issues, etc.
My response as based on why I think the OP was a good candidate - how she decides to communicate that to parents is up to her - as a doctor I assume communication is a strength!

NemoRocksMyWorld Fri 22-Sep-17 17:27:19

Thanks so much to everyone who posted. I have read it all carefully, and am going to take all the advice on board. Also spoke to my mum (third generation teacher!) and she has given me some advice.

There are definitely transferable skills between health and education.... Especially in the community, but it's getting that across in less than 100 words!

Think I will keep it relatively simple! Going to work on it over the weekend, and stick it on on Monday! Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Thanks for all the support though, I've not posted much before (mostly a lurker!) but all the support and advice has been so helpful.

admission Fri 22-Sep-17 17:50:37

As a chair of governors of an outstanding school I would be delighted to receive your application as a parent governor because your background does give so many areas which do have a relevance to governance.
I do disagree with bubblesbuddy that a knowledge of safeguarding is not relevant as that is the school's responsibility. That the school is responsible on a day to day basis is correct but Ofsted would be very concerned by a governing body that knew nothing at all about safeguarding in the school and that there was no safeguarding governor who has not ensured the Single Central Record is up to date.
If the parents of the school are silly enough not to vote for somebody like you I can only suggest that you still consider becoming a governor at another school, maybe a special school where your experience could be even more valuable. Contact either Inspiring Governance or SGOSS to find other schools that may want your skills.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 22-Sep-17 18:14:24

Alternatively, you could look into becoming a community governor - which is a non-elected role.

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