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DH has been asked to be a school governor, he's thinking about it. Is it quite easy or a bit of a pain in the bum?

(9 Posts)
bran Mon 01-Sep-08 13:32:17

DH is a very active member of his church and has until recently been the chair of the PCC. The school is a church school and the church are supposed to nominate 3 of the governors, at the moment they only have 2 and the vicar has asked DH if he would consider doing it. DS doesn't go to this school so DH doesn't really have any connection to it except through the church.

Now I have personal issues with DH putting work/church/friends first above his family. He finds it hard to say "No" and generally ends up with so much on his plate that he gets quite cranky. He is currently working abroad for most of the week so we don't get to see all that much of him anyway, but even when he's working in London he's usually only home before bedtime one or two nights a week. He's also studying for a doctorate and is always complaining that he doesn't have time to study.

bran Mon 01-Sep-08 13:32:59

(Sorry, still can't do a big post, so have to do two small ones.)

He says that being a governor will only take a couple of hours every two or three months, and if that's really the case then I suppose it's not to bad. I suspect though that it will actually be a real pain in the bum and, given that he can't say "No", he will end up with lots of crappy extra stuff to do that he will try to palm off onto me or that will take over a even more of the weekend (a lot of which is usually lost to work and study).

Are there any school governors out there, and do you find that it genuinely only takes a few hours every two or three months. If not, let me know how it really is so that I can talk DH out of accepting the position.

WigWamBam Mon 01-Sep-08 13:49:54

Dh is a school governor, at a Primary school.

It's not hugely demanding on his time. Over the past year he has had three or four meetings (couple of hours each) of the entire board of governors. He is on the Sites committee, which has also had one meeting of about an hour and a couple of site visits, one of which was for an afternoon, one for an hour or so.

He is waiting to do the New Governors course, which will take either a couple of evenings or a day.

But. This is something he wanted to do, and in which I support him. We have connections with the school in that dd goes there and I work there. It sounds as if, for you and your dh, there is more to this than just the time it will take up, and you really need to address this together.

AvenaLife Mon 01-Sep-08 13:54:47

It depends on the school as to how demanding they want it to be. ds's old old school used to be very demanding, 1 meeting every half term, then meeting for sub committee's, involvement in school things (like sales etc). The course took one morning, 5 days for a week. They also wanted parent govs to drop in when they could. I missed 2 meetings (they were quite close together, I had to work) and was moaned at.

Wordsmith Mon 01-Sep-08 14:00:25

I've been a parent governor since Easter. It's not hugely time consuming although I suppose it depends which committee he decides to join and what's going on at the school. ie finance and buildings could be busy if there's a lot of rebuilding going on or decisions to be made there. Personnel and staffing mean he'll need to get involved in interviewing new teachers etc. I'm on the curriculum committee and haven't done much so far.

I became a parent governor because I thought it was important to have governors who aren't teachers or educational professionals and, surprisingly enough, all the other parent governors were teaching professionals. The chair of governors is not connected to education otherwise (works in industry) but it is refreshing to have someone else on the board who says "eh? can you repeat that?" when it gets a bit too jargony.

However it can be time consuming when there aee big decisions to be made. We have already had 2 extraordinary meetings of the whole governing body so far since easter And I am committing 4 evenings next month to my induction training.

I do it because both my kids are at the school. If I had your DHs workload I wouldn't do it. Meetings are normally round about the kids' bedtimes anyway.

I would say, if he feels a real desire to do this and has some sort of vested interest (ie kids at the school) then by all means. But if he has no real connection with the school he may run the risk of just making up the numbers and, more importantly, being away from his kids even more than he is now.

bran Mon 01-Sep-08 15:57:50

I think I might try and talk him out of it. I'm sure he hasn't considered that he needs to have training and the time that that would take. I suspect there are problems in the school, it seems to be just about the only church school in the country that isn't over subscribed. Personally I think I would be a little hmm if there was a governor at my child's school who had chosen to send his child to a different school, especially if there are problems in the school. So he may find it a bit too political.

StellaDallas Mon 01-Sep-08 16:50:38

I am a governor. There are usually two or three meetings a term, which can run for three or four hours. You need to do new governors training which is a full day, or a couple of evenings and last year we also did child protection training and finance training. Each governor on our govering body has responisibility for a specific area of the curriculum and you are expected to arrange a (daytime) monitoring visit and report back to the full governing body. There are also various working parties etc that you can choose to join. I am on several and they are time consuming.
Having said that, there are certainly several governors who barely turn up for the full governing body meetings once a term, but on our particular GB that is viewed as a bit slack. From the sounds of what your DH is involved with already, he seems like the sort of person who would want to pull his weight, in which case it is quite a demanding role.

nlondondad Mon 01-Sep-08 21:20:50

I am a Governor, and I can tell you that the amount of time it takes does vary depending on how much you want to put in.

Also as an "external" governor his involvement could be limited to attending full meetings and one committee.

But it is another committment....

bran Tue 02-Sep-08 09:37:27

Thanks everyone. I phoned DH last night and as I suspected he hadn't know about training and sub-committees. Plus he is currently working in Amsterdam 3 or 4 days a week so wouldn't be able to make meetings unless they were on a Monday or Friday evening with plenty of notice. So he has decided not to take on the role.

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