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Ooh, DS new school has a vacancy for a parent governer, shall I apply?

(10 Posts)
SolidGoldBrass Thu 17-Sep-09 12:19:36

Has anyone been one and can tell me what it entails? I just think I might be able to help nip in the bud any of the sort of idiocies some schools seem to be prone to as mentioned on here...

throckenholt Thu 17-Sep-09 12:25:55

yes - it is worth being in on the decisions from the inside - you might be able to influence things, and you will certainly understand more of where the decisions come from.

As for what it entails - regular meetings of the full governing body (once or twice a term normally), regular meetings of any committees you may be on. Other bits and pieces you may get involved in.

It is one of those things - you can get involved as much as you have time for.

GeeWhizz Thu 17-Sep-09 12:29:29

It is very rewarding, have been a governor for 6 months.

Our School:- Need to commit to one full governors meeting per term (about two hours) and be on at least two committees (about hour each). You do have to do some reading before the meetings. We have a very good training programme in Bristol and you are well supported by everyone.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 17-Sep-09 12:30:53

Yes, go for it. Have a look at this thread for tips. Actually it is worth searching the archives, I know there have been good threads in the past about writing your personal statement etc.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 17-Sep-09 13:57:13

Hhm read the other thread and panicked - is there a difference between 'governer' and parent governer'?

LadyGlencoraPalliser Thu 17-Sep-09 14:01:50

All governors do the same job - but they are elected or appointed to represent different interest groups. At a community primary school there will be parent governors (elected by parents) community governors (appointed by the governing body to represent various community interests (these can be pretty random) and Local Authority governors (appointed by the local authority on an equally random basis) as well as teacher governors (elected by the teaching staff) and non-teaching staff governors (elected by the non teaching-staff). Once you are on the governing body you all do the same job.

Hassled Thu 17-Sep-09 14:25:43

Typically a Governing Body will have LA Governors, Community Governors, Staff and Parent Governors. I think it's different in Faith Schools. I've been a governor for several years and am now Chair. It's rewarding - very much a case of getting out what you put in. Some just show up for meetings and say very little, others are actively monitoring/evaluating initiatives in school. At our school - a full meeting once per half term, and then we are each on 2 of the 4 sub-committees, which again each meet once per half term. And beyond the meetings, some of us have link roles - e.g. I do Inclusion, so meet with Senco, G&T co-ordinator etc at least termly.

Don't hang too much on thinking you will affect the day to day management of the school though - the GB delegates that to the Head. You're there for the strategic development of the school.

throckenholt Thu 17-Sep-09 19:38:43

the only difference with the church school is there are less no community governors - they are foundation governors nominally representing the parochial church council and the diocese (in our case we are all pretty much the same regardless which type we technically are).

SolidGoldBrass Thu 17-Sep-09 21:18:10

Oh I don't know... I will probably apply anyway. My main thinking was filling the place myself should help keep at bay either religious nutjobs (it's a community school) and, more importantly, the BNP who are allegedly very interested in things like school governing boards and all kinds of community organisations.

trickerg Thu 17-Sep-09 21:48:29

'I just think I might be able to help nip in the bud any of the sort of idiocies some schools seem to be prone to as mentioned on here...'

It would be better to forget about that before going to be a parent governor!

For about 90% of the MN threads there will be educational reasons for teachers' actions, and the problem in nearly all cases will be bad communication.

As a parent governor, you will find out many of the constraints that schools face, both financially and administrationally. You will find out about the screeds of paperwork a head teacher (and chair of governors) has to sift through. You will be a mouthpiece for parents, and, in this role, have to show discretion and loyalty to the school.

It will put you in a different position in the playground, and you need to consider this. You will not be able to take part in any gossip about members of staff (not saying you do anyway grin ) or discuss anything that goes on in meetings, as they are confidential.

However, it is a positive way of finding out about current educational standards, ideas, economics... You will find out where the school is headed, and take part in that development. You will probably be given an observation to make either to do with your expertise or as a visiting governor to a class (focussing on a subject). This is not a judgmental position, but one where you talk to staff, see what they think, enjoy the children and report back to governors.

Your local authority should run an interesting introductory course.

Good luck!

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