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Published on 24th January 2020
There will shortly be 4 Parent Governor vacancies on the Governing Body and I am, therefore, seeking nominations from parents who are interested in this role and who have children at the school. (The term ‘parent’, in this respect relates to any person who has ‘parental responsibility’ as defined by the Children Act 1989. If you have any queries about your eligibility as a parent/guardian, please contact the Clerk to the Governing Body at the school for further advice).
There are a number of formalities which any candidate needs to be aware of and these are dealt with below. Before that I thought that it might be helpful if I provided you with an insight into the role of a Parent Governor through the experiences of previous occupants of such positions. Set out below is a flavour of their experiences: –
“If you are considering becoming a Parent Governor and you want to make Fernwood an even better school for your child and for other pupils then don’t wait, apply now.”
“As a Parent Governor I have been consulted on financial planning, staff selection, building works and strategic decisions, such as becoming an Academy.”
“If you have a particular strength or specific background you can offer, that’s great, but it is not essential as everyone gets the opportunity to put forward their opinions and take part in debates to further develop the school.”
“You will need to be committed to attending pre-planned Governor meetings, at 5.45pm, and participate in school visits which are very important, as these provide an opportunity to see what makes Fernwood an excellent school”
“I have been a Parent Governor for 3 years and find the role very rewarding. As a Parent Governor you acquire an understanding of how Fernwood operates and can help influence the future direction of the school for the benefit of pupils, staff and the wider community. The commitment is usually no more than 2 evenings per month during the school year and there are plenty of experienced Governors to help and support, with training available where required. No special skills are necessary, only enthusiasm to see the school continue to flourish and give its pupils the best possible start in life.”
As an Academy the Governing Body of the Academy Trust is responsible for all matters at the school, ranging from setting the strategic direction of the school and monitoring progress, setting and monitoring the school budget, monitoring the performance of staff, a variety of other pupil and personnel issues, admissions and health and safety. In your role as a School Governor, you will be supported in these duties by other experienced members of the Governing Body, the Head Teacher and the Company Secretary.
The Governing Body works together as a corporate body, currently meeting 6 times per year plus committee meetings once per term. As a Parent Governor, you will normally hold office for a period of four years even if your child leaves the school during this time. However, you can resign form the Governing Body at any time. As an Academy, and in accordance with the Trust’s Articles of Association, you will become a Director and your details will be lodged with Companies House. Your appointment will also be subject to an enhanced DBS Check before taking up office. A Code of Conduct is also in place which you would be required to sign-up to.
Although the election of Parent Governors is a matter for parents and carers, I think it would be helpful at this stage to outline the type of skills and experiences that we are looking for at this time. In accordance with good practice the Governing Body regularly assesses the skills required that would benefit the operation of the Governing Body. In this connection, we would hope that candidates with the following skills and experience could be elected: –
Feedback from previous Parent Governor appointments included comments that the nomination process was too lengthy and that some Parents were unwilling to put themselves in a position where an election might be necessary. We have responded to this by making it easier to stand, by requiring only one proposer rather than the previous three. I might also add that with 4 vacancies it would need 5 expressions of interest to be made to trigger an election.
If you would like to be nominated to be a Parent Governor, you need to:
If you have any further queries about the role of a Parent Governor, please contact the Head Teacher of the School, other members of the School Governing Body or the Company Secretary/Clerk at the School.
Mr P Burke