Questions Parents Ask About School Governors
WHAT ARE SCHOOL GOVERNORS?
School Governors are teams of volunteers who work closely with their school’s senior leaders to make key decisions vital to the successful running of the school. Governors have an important part to play in maintaining and raising school standards. Governors have three key roles:
- Setting strategic direction
- Ensuring accountability
- Monitoring and evaluating the school's performance.
An important part of this is appointing, managing and working with the Head Teacher, supporting him and holding him accountable for the performance of the school within the budgets agreed by the Governors.
DO SCHOOL GOVERNORS RUN THE SCHOOL?
No. The day-to-day management of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher and leadership team. Rather than manage, the Board of Governors is there to help shape LPBS’s future direction and focus. Governors are at the heart of how any school operates. They are there to question and challenge, ensuring the school is being run well.
WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE BECOME SCHOOL GOVERNORS?
All sorts of people become School Governors. Governors do not have to be a particular type of person, nor have particular qualifications, know about education or even have children. The only requirement is to be over 18. But an effective Board of Governors benefits from the various skills that different Governors bring, such as general business knowledge, budget planning, HR functions, good organization skills, plus enthusiasm and commitment to the school.
HOW MUCH TIME DO GOVERNORS SPEND ON GOVERNOR DUTIES?
Active School Governors spend upwards of eight hours each school month, and can amount to significantly more. This includes preparation time for meetings, meetings themselves, visits and ongoing training.
ARE GOVERNORS PAID?
No. Being a Governor is entirely voluntary. But as with many other voluntary roles, such as being a magistrate, or working with St John's Ambulance, there is an expectation of professionalism. Training is made available to ensure newcomers reach the necessary level of expertise, and experienced governors refresh and extend their expertise.
DO PARENT GOVERNORS REPRESENT PARENTS?
Yes and no! Parent Governors are elected by the parent body, and so are well placed to help the Board of Governors understand parents’ views, and communicate effectively with parents. But once elected, Parent Governors use their own judgment in decision making. They are not expected to gather the views of other parents or provide a link between parents and the Board of Governors. Parent Governors must not get involved as advocates on behalf of parents in specific cases.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNORS AND THE FRIENDS OF LPSB?
Both Governors and Friends are committed to LPSB, and work for the school community’s best interests, but there is no formal relationship. Governors maintain a dialogue with the Friends by attending their meetings from time to time and taking part in fundraising activities.
CAN I GET INVOLVED WITH THE WORK OF THE GOVERNORS WITHOUT BECOMING A GOVERNOR?
Yes. As well as the Board of Governors’ formal Committee structure, there are occasional and ad hoc working groups, which can include parents and members of the local community willing to play a part. If you would like to know more, contact us:
HOW CAN I BECOME A SCHOOL GOVERNOR?
If your child attends LPSB, you can be elected as a parent Governor by the parents. Elections will be publicised. You can also put yourself forward as a Governor by expressing interest to the Board of Governors. If you have a particular expertise that the Board needs, you may be co-opted.
HOW CAN I SHOW THAT I'M INTERESTED?
If you’d like to register interest, either as a supporter, or as a potential Governor, please contact us:
email@example.comYou may also like to take a look at the website of the National Governor Association, and in particular their note ‘What do Governors do?’ This summary from the newly launched Inspiring Governors organisation is also a helpful read.