How to be a Governor
EXPLANATION OF HOW TO BE A GOVERNOR, WHAT THE ROLE ENTAILS AND THE RESULTS OF THE PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION
The Governing Body acts as a critical friend to the school. This means acting in a supporting role, offering advice and assistance. It also means asking challenging questions when required.
All governors are expected to attend all full Governing Body meetings and become a member of at least one committee and join a working group as an additional option.
Some governors also have specific responsibilities – often because of their background, interests and/or experience, for example:
- special educational needs, disability and inclusion;
- partnership with parents/carers;
- health and safety.
The amount of time spent being a governor at our school varies, but is likely to be anywhere between 7-10 hours per month plus school visits, attendance at parents’ evenings, school events and other panels that you may be called on from time to time.
The DfE gives guidance on how to make time available.
Employers must give employees who are governors in maintained schools ‘reasonable time off’ to carry out their duties (Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996).
The employer and employee must agree on what is ‘reasonable time off’ and should discuss:
- how much time is needed for the duties overall;
- whether the employee is also being given time off from work for other activities;
- the particular circumstances of the employer’s business;
- and the likely effect that the employee’s absence may have on it
The local authority provided a comprehensive training programme and recommends that new governors undertake these training sessions and attend further training when needed. Guidance on time off for public duties is given on the GOV.UK website.
We have devised an induction programme for new Hazelwood governors which involves a visit to the school to meet the staff and to look at key school improvement strategies, for example, the use and interpretation of data. New governors will also visit classrooms, talk to children and see the school in action. In addition we have a ‘buddy’ system that pairs up a new governor with an experienced governor.
The term of office is typically four years.
All governors are required to have an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formally known as CRB)
- Co-opted and Associate governors join the governing body either as volunteers or through nomination. We invite them to write a brief biography and set out what they bring to the governing body in terms of skills, expertise and knowledge. We ask for and take up references and finally invite the candidate to attend a meeting to introduce themselves and respond to questions. The meeting will then decide whether to agree to the co-option and/or associate status.
- Local Authority governors go through a similar process of nomination and checks.
- When vacancies occur for Parent governors, an election takes place. Parents are invited to apply if they are clear that they have the time, enthusiasm and skills to put themselves forward for this important role.
There is an opportunity for those expressing an interest to meet experienced governors and ask questions about the role – which is set out clearly in our Code of Conduct. (See webpage on the side bar to the right)
Parent governors work in the best interests of all stakeholders in the school, although they play an important role in bringing a unique parental viewpoint to the governing body.
Hazelwood governors are an experienced and friendly team and our work is rewarding and interesting. We will offer support, guidance and training to new governors, so that they will be up to speed with school issues as soon as possible.
The school will inform parents about vacancies in the Newsletter/website. Those interested can contact the school office for details on how to apply. If we have more nominations than places, we will ask candidates to submit a statement in writing and we will have a formal ballot of parents overseen by the local authority.
You can read Governors’ Pen Portraits by click on their names which can be found on the ‘Meet the team’ tab- ‘Governors’ page.