being a school governor and the purpose of governance
School governors are volunteers who help to run the school and form part of a 'Governing Body'. They are involved in decisions about all aspects of managing the school including buildings and budgets, staffing and setting standards of discipline. Governors supprt headteachers and ensure that the school is being well managed.
Anyone over 18 can be a school governor and they don't have to be a parent of a child at the school. The most important qualities are enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education. As a parent, it can be a rewarding way to be involved in your child's school. As a governor you will be expected to attend full governing body meetings each half term and you will also be expected to join one or two sub-committees which will cover different areas like finance and curriculum.
If you are interested in becoming a governor, talk to the current chair of governors. When there is a vacancy for a Parent Governor a letter will go out to inform all parents of the vacancy and you will have a chance to be elected to the governing body. It is also worth talking to your employer as many employers recognise the importance of the role and may offer paid leave for governor duties.
THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNANCE
The purpose of governance is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.
The governing body has three main functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding leaders to account for the educational perfomance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.