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St Matthew's C of E

Primary School

Work TogetherAim HighShine Bright

Parent Governor Vacancy September 2020

  • Election Timetable

 

      Nominations close (date/time)                         MONDAY 14th SEPTEMBER 2020 at 12 noon

      If no ballot is required then

      - result will be available                                    TUESDAY 15th SEPEMBER 2020

 

      If a ballot is required then

      -  ballot papers will be issued                          THURSDAY 17th SEPTEMBER 2020

                         

      -  ballot papers must be returned by               THURSDAY 24th SEPTEMBER  2020 at 12 noon

               

      -  count                                                            THURSDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020 at 3:30pm

                                                                               

      -  result available                                              FRIDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Parent Governor Vacancy

 

We are looking to appoint a Parent Governor and would like you to consider whether you could serve in this way.

 

Governors play a key role in ensuring that the children of our community develop both academically and spiritually within a distinctive Christian ethos. We are looking for people who are able to support the school in its understanding and development of the Christian aspects of its work and are willing to commit time and effort to supporting the educational development of the children in the school.

 

You do not have to be an educational expert as you will be given help in developing such skills, and training is available on all aspects of school governance. What is important is a willingness to commit to the role and an ability to ask questions whilst working with others to ensure the best outcomes for the children by challenging and supporting school leaders in equal measure. School governance uses the experience of people from many walks of life and if you work in business, have an interest in finance or have experience of working in a variety of situations then you could make a valuable contribution to the work of the school governing body.

 

Do you have any of the following skills or experience?       

Strategic Planning

Catering

Mediating

Innovation

Financial planning

Contracting services

Premises Maintenance

Marketing

Research

Project management

Working with children

IT

Legal Knowledge

Planning/Leading worship

Public relations

Human Resources

Health and Safety

Working with the church community

 

Are there any other skills or experiences you have gained in a work, voluntary or home environment that you could bring to the governing body?

 

Full Governing Body meetings take place every 6 weeks (typically at 5pm), with smaller subcommittees held throughout each term. Membership of any committee will be based on your interests and experience. If you would like further information please contact Linda Buckley (via the school office) who will be willing to talk through with you what it’s like being a governor and how it all works.

 

If you feel that you could take on this very important role then all we ask is that you fill in a form which is available from the school office.

 

 

 

GOLDEN RULES OF THE PARENT GOVERNOR

 

1. A representative, but not a delegate

You will have to keep in close touch with any school parents’ organisations and listen as well as you can to individuals – remembering always that your contacts won’t all be typical. For instance you won’t encounter many working mothers in the day or single parents in the evenings, and you will probably meet more mothers than fathers. The school gate, the supermarket, the park or the library may be your main sources of news and views. Somehow you have to try to reconcile and make sense of what you hear, but do remember that you are not a delegate. That means you don’t have to adopt as your own any opinions, even widely held ones, when you vote. You are a representative, which means listening thoughtfully, and reporting to your fellow governors any feelings on vital matters shared by many parents. But when it comes to taking a line at the meeting, you follow your own conviction of what is right for the school and also heed other governors’ views. That’s the difference between a representative and a delegate.

 

2. The right time to say your bit

Remember that you must have a ‘context’ in the form of an agenda item, either reporting parents’ views on any relevant item, or asking for something to be put on the agenda later. It won’t be popular – and it isn’t efficient – to bring in the latest school-gate report.  This isn’t just rules for the sake of rules, but a way of ensuring colleagues get a chance to think about issues in their own time with proper warning. All good governors’ business is like this and you will benefit too by not having things sprung on you.

 

3. Not the place for individual complaints

Parents will inevitably approach you with concerns about their own children, wanting you to take these up with the school. (Annabel is highly intelligent and needs more challenging work,  Belinda may seem aggressive but is really just hyperactive,  Bob is small for his age and wears glasses and gets bullied,  Caroline is delicate and shouldn’t have to line up when it’s cold).   But the governing body deals with school policies and it is not the place to take purely individual problems unless the parents have tried direct approaches and then – at the end of the road - made a formal complaint to the governors about the school’s handling of the problem. Listen, be sympathetic, tell the parents anything you know which may have a bearing, and then encourage them to go to the class or subject teacher or head. If they are very timid you might go with them, but for moral support, not siding with them. Your role is to help solve problems affecting all parents and make sure the school communicates well with them.

 

4. Remember the boundaries

Professionals can be very territorial. The governing body’s job is to plan long term for the school, make sure it is well staffed, and spends its budget wisely, and help to construct all the general policies which make it an efficient, caring and fair environment for learning. But it is the job of the head and senior team, not governors, to ensure that individual teachers are in the right roles, right places at the right time, perform well, get adequate guidance and behave professionally. The head manages the space, time, equipment, people, on a daily basis, and must also respond to any inappropriate behaviour or dangerous situation as it occurs. Parent governors are often tempted to

trespass on professional territory because of their direct experience, and care so much, but it is not wise.

 

5. Confidentiality

There are boundaries too on matters of confidentiality. The governing body is a very open institution. Its proceedings are not secret and in general anyone can come in from the street and read its papers. But there are exceptions. Certain items may affect the privacy of an individual teacher, child or family – health, finances, home life, ability or behaviour. These will be classified confidential and you must be sure to keep them so.  Be careful too about revealing things you hear on your visits to the school where you are in a sense a privileged person: the innocent things children say about their homes, teachers’ small talk. You can report back any decisions which have been made on non-confidential matters, but make sure to do so responsibly. You don’t reveal how individuals reacted or voted – you want to feel free yourself, don’t you, to act as conscience directs? And so do others. Also be careful never to put any colleague or the governing body in a bad light, tempting though it may be to relate the spicy bits of meetings.

 

6. No power on your own

No individual governor can make anything happen. The only power belongs to the governors acting together by majority vote. Sometimes you may care very much about an issue but have to accept that you haven’t enough support. The chance may come again but meanwhile you have to be brave and patient though you hate disappointing parents. One more warning – do resist the temptation to bring your own children’s experience up too often (we all get accused of this), and if you have to go to the school about their problems, ever, don’t ‘pull rank’ as a governor. It makes teachers uneasy.  Better sometimes to leave ‘family business’ to your partner, or at least make it clear that you are there only as a parent.

 

7. A job to be proud of

I hope I haven’t discouraged you with too many cautions. Parent governors are to me the heart and soul of the governing body with a crucial job to do - making schools better places for children and families. There are challenges, but you will overcome them. The job needs a firm sense of purpose, tact, patience and stamina, but the rewards are immense.  

 

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