At Longton Primary school we are fortunate to have a keen, committed and knowledgeable governing body. The fact that we currently have no vacancies highlights that it is a prestigious position to hold. Our governors have a vital role to
play in making sure all children at a school receive the highest standard of education possible and are able to achieve their full potential. They believe that the quality of education we provide for today’s children will affect the quality of society in the future. School governors come from all backgrounds reflecting different cultures, communities, work skills and life experiences. In a nutshell – teachers do, the headteacher monitors and leads and the Governors evaluate (some would say with a fine toothcomb!)
What Our School Governors actually do -
Our school has its own governing body which has specific duties given to it by law including:
Agree school developmental priorities
Monitor and evaluate the performance of the school
Set school targets
Make sure the curriculum is balanced
Agree school policies
Agree an annual budget detailing planned spending and staffing
Appointment of Headteacher and other senior staff
An effective governing body, like ours, is a source of enormous strength to our school. Governors provide the Headteacher with support and advice. They ask searching questions whilst respecting the Headteacher’s position as professional leader of the school. They share in formulating the school’s aims and vision. Being a school governor
means being committed to giving time and energy to the role. Each governor, as a volunteer, contributes to the work of the governing body and shares the load. Governors are asked to take part in regular meetings, read ‘loads’ of papers and find out about the issues being discussed. In practice, this means going to one or two full governing body meetings each term, together with one or two committee meetings, lasting approximately 2 hours each, plus regular visits to the school during the school day and helping out with school events. Most Governing Body meetings are held on a weekday at four o’clock at the school. Governors’ understanding and appreciation of the working of the school is extremely beneficial. Governors receive training and support to help them in their role. All governors have a duty to act in the interests of all children in the school and maintain discretion and confidentiality. Our Governors do not all have previous experience of education but are very effective governors. Everyone has skills and knowledge from everyday life and work which is of enormous benefit to our governing body. Common sense and the ability to listen and make reasoned decisions together with a commitment to give a few hours of your time are vital ingredients. The Governing Body acts collectively and the first loyalty of every governor must be to the school. Governors support the staff and headteacher of our school but will also act as a 'critical friend'. The role is strategic not operational. The head and staff
manage the day to day running of the school. Parent governors are elected by parents of children at the school. Although they are there to represent parents' views, they are not delegates, and other parents cannot
mandate them on how they should vote, or what they should say in Governing Body meetings. Likewise, you should not become a Governor to enable you to be proactive in your own agendas. Sometimes parent governors find they are
approached by parents with individual concerns. In this case, it would not be appropriate to take the issue to the Governing Body and they should encourage the parents to take the matter up with their child's class teacher or the headteacher.
One staff governor position is reserved for the headteacher. Other staff governors are elected by the school staff. Both teaching and support staff paid to work at the school are eligible for staff governorship; volunteers are not eligible. At least one staff governor must be a teacher, but if no teacher stands for election a member of the support staff can be elected to take that place. If a governing body has three or more staff governor places, at least one staff governor place is offered to the support staff, but if no member of the support staff stands for election a
teacher can be elected to take that place. They do not represent ideas that enhance their own individual experiences but the experiences of all involved within the school, colleagues, children, parents etc.
They are appointed by the Local Authority and are usually a member of the council
e.g. county councillor.
Parents, including carers, of registered pupils at the school are eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. They are elected by other parents at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors. The law does not allow elected members of the Local Authority, or people who work at the school for more than 500 hours in a school year, to become parent governors. Parent governors bring a parental view point and do not represent other parental views within the school. They must remain impartial and cannot drive their own
agenda to promote changes that will enhance their child’s experience. They are a governor to promote the development of the whole school.
Community governors are appointed by the governing body to represent community interests. Community governors can be people who live or work in the community served by the school, or people who do not work in or live close to the school but are committed to the good governance and success of the school. People who are registered pupils at the school, eligible to be staff governors at the school, or elected members of the LA, cannot become community governors.
Sponsor governors are appointed by, and at the discretion of, the governing body. If the governing body wants to appoint sponsor governors it must seek nominations from the sponsor(s). Sponsors are people who give substantial assistance to the school, financially or in kind, or who provide services to the school. The governing body can appoint a maximum of two persons as sponsor governors.
At the start of each full Governing Body Meeting the members of the heads team present a report, which they have prepared independently, informing governors of children’s views and the impact they have on school life. All members of this team are proud of this opportunity.
Erin “our Governors help on our school trips”.
Olivia “They meet at night and make sure we are doing our best”.
Phoebe “They help Mrs Brown and Mr Pearson make our school the best”.