westernind: (Ilford BBQ)
[personal profile] westernind

Are any of you school governors? I've been asked to be a governor of a local special needs school. Apparently business knowledge and common sense are valuable, despite the fact I don't have kids.

Advice welcome.

[cross-posted]

Date: 2012-04-21 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thalinoviel.livejournal.com

No, but a governor who can understand the institutions finances is a godsend. Even more so if they can translate for the others.

Date: 2012-04-21 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westernind.livejournal.com
I can do that, no problems!

Date: 2012-04-23 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sixtine.livejournal.com
Kids aren't required for the role. A school is just a business with goals like any other. Governors are there to see good governance. You'd be a great governor but I think it can be a bit cliquey and political at times; that probably depends on the school.

Date: 2012-04-21 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathbad.livejournal.com
You could always ask my sister :)

Date: 2012-04-22 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westernind.livejournal.com
Haven't seen her for years!

Date: 2012-04-22 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kathbad.livejournal.com
You could drop her an email though!

She is a head teacher and so could give you an inside scoop...
(deleted comment)

Date: 2012-04-22 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westernind.livejournal.com
The thing I'm most concerned about is expansion of time commitment. From your perspective, how much time did you think it took up?

Date: 2012-04-22 07:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agentinfinity.livejournal.com
I was a school governor at Sandy Upper whilst I worked there. There were different commitees (finances, staffing, curriculum) plus the general full governor meetings so it would depend on which committees you were on. There was an expectation at my place you would be on at least one. I was on curriculum. There seemed to be a lack of people who wanted to go on the finance one. Staff governors weren't allowed on the staffing one so I don't know what that was like.

I found the majority of governors were local counsellors or parents, plus obviously the obligatory staff ones and then the senior leadership attended as well. I was dismayed to find a lack of knowledge about current education practice amongst the governors I met which I don't think was very helpful. Some ofthe counsellors were really out of date. But I don't think that they were very good governors so I guess it will probably massively vary from school to school. They also tended to demand lots of random things of staff and then barely acknowledge when they were delivered, which was very demoralising.

Feel free to phone/email me if you want to know more about this. I don't think it matters at all that you don't have kids but I think some knowledge of current education practice (and a bit about special needs provision) would probably be helpful - though I'm sure there will be governors who don't have this on your governing body.

Date: 2012-04-22 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westernind.livejournal.com
I'm trying to say no until the new school year, when we recruit someone to take over part of my day job. (And hopefully I get a bit less manically busy.) I'll come and pick your brains over the summer. :)

Date: 2012-04-22 11:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delvy.livejournal.com
I think you would make a superb school governor and would be invaluable to the institution in question. Be prepared to be frustrated by the madness of it all on occasion.

(Both my parents have served as governors of various schools and colleges and I was asked to serve as such for the local infants school a while ago but I did not as I was working away from home and could not commit the time.)

Date: 2012-04-22 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] velvet-the-cat.livejournal.com
Dan is, at the local primary school opposite. He has one full meeting per term and one sub-committee meeting per term too. The meetings are usually early evening and last a couple of hours on average. Then there is the odd training thing he has to go on occasionally too.

It doesn't seem to eat loads of time, but the communications about what/when/where seem to be iffy at best so I suspect he could get more involved if he knew stuff was happening with less than 24 hours notice!

Having kids is definitely not a pre-requisite, competence is *far* more important! :o)

You'd be great!

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