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Parent Governors

(14 Posts)
MrsGently Sat 24-Oct-09 21:58:02

Would do you expect from yours?

Do you have their contact details?
Do you know what they look like?
Do they ever seek parent's view on anything?
Do you know what they do/what their responsibility areas are?

Our Governors meetings are completely confidential, we never know what they are about - no communication...ever!!!

Is this normal?

Clary Sat 24-Oct-09 22:51:56

I am a parent governor so I guess I do know the others at our school.

But yes, meetings are (have to be) confidential; we are discussing stuff like the school budget, the head's salary, the arrangement of staff for the next year - not really stuff for public consultation.

All the school's policies (bullying etc etc) are available for anyone to read.

I don't seek parents' views because I am not there to represent parents in that way - though if I have been the victim of a particularly firm lobby (ahem) as I sometimes am, I will mention it to the head. I always tell peoplewho moan at me with that hat on tho (rather than just generically) to go and talk to the HT.

MrsGently Sat 24-Oct-09 22:59:53

Why does the school budget need to be confidential? Surely that is public knowledge anyway. The other stuff you've mentioned doesn't occupy all your time? Just feeling like we are completely out of the loop - have now googled and realised that parent govs do not represent the parents - that feels odd.

Clary Sat 24-Oct-09 23:16:52

No, some of the other stuff is the policies which are available as I say, and the head teacher's report on what's happening at the school, which would certainly be confidential (eg info about a child with special needs having 1-1 help etc - children are not named to us btw).

The budget - not sure that is public knowledge actually. Or at least not in such detail. Not on finance committee tho.

Some issues discussed by govs will be made public - eg we may have a presentation about the latest literacy framework which will in some way be made available to all parents. Just not via the govs - which is apposite in that case. We are described as "critical friends" there to advise and use our expertise, rather than there to lobby for the interests of parents.

MadBadAndWieldingAnAxe Sat 24-Oct-09 23:21:38

I can't remember the exact wording, but there's a summary somewhere of the role of the parent governor which says that it is to be a representative parent, not a representative of all parents.

Idontknowhowtohelpher Sat 24-Oct-09 23:24:00

The minutes from our Governing Body meetings are available in the school entrance hall for all parents to read (if they can be bothered - they are usually pristine!). Obviously, confidential items are removed before display, but that only happens to a few items in the year.

pinkteddy Sat 24-Oct-09 23:24:50

I am a non teaching staff rep on a board of governors and it was made very clear to me that I don't represent the other non teaching staff and I have no responsibility to report back to them. Its not like being a union rep where you are representing members views. As clary says you're there for your expertise and to be a critical friend. It is like a board of trustees.

The minutes of our governing body are available to everyone though and can be downloaded from the school's website and I don't see why you can't access your governing body minutes. There may be part of them that remain confidential depending on what is discussed at the meeting.

Idontknowhowtohelpher Sat 24-Oct-09 23:25:52

We have a governor's notice board with photos of all the governors and contact details. This is a state primary.

morocco Sat 24-Oct-09 23:27:37

minutes should be available for anyone interested enough

if you want more contact, go find out who they are (ask head or school secretary) and make some suggestions - eg a governor presence during parents evenings, parent forums.

buy1get1free Sun 25-Oct-09 07:49:52

School accounts are public information and should be available for parents at least once a year around the time of a PTA AGM (if your school has one), otherwise you can just ask for them. We have a photo gallery of our governors, so we know who they are (some are parents, so they are obvious). It's not public knowledge when the meetings take place or what they are about, however. It really depends on the school and how transparent they want to appear/be. Any school that is not freely coming with info regarding accounts etc probably have something to hide in my experience.

buy1get1free Sun 25-Oct-09 07:51:19

MrsGently forgot to mention that the PTA is a better place for parents to get their voices heard or put ideas/views to school

DadAtLarge Mon 26-Oct-09 19:25:12

Is there a PTA that goes outside fundraising in this way? I thought fundraising (and events) was all they were about.

neolara Mon 26-Oct-09 21:46:24

The minutes of all governors meetings are available on our school website. Also, the governing body send a termly newsletter to all parents. It also canvases opinions of parents in a questionnaire each year.

Mind you, I might know this because I'm a parent governor. If I wasn't, I might not know all the above.

singersgirl Tue 27-Oct-09 15:52:15

We have photos of governors on a governor noticeboard in school. As others have said, minutes are available and we also send out a termly governors' newsletter. We do a parent satisfaction questionnaire as well.

Lots of people I know do know I'm a parent governor so they will 'lobby' me or ask me for news on something they're interested in.

So there is quite a lot of communication.

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