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Governor Inclusion

Discussion in 'Governors' started by neddyfonk, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    An extract from a Review of Governance

    Governors are often an unseen, unknown stakeholder in the school. Many staff, parents and pupils will not know them or what function they perform. To help remedy this governors may like to volunteer to perform a few high-profile activities such as:

    1. Meet and greet parents/pupils at the school gate.

    2. Address the pupils at assembly with information/anecdotes / inspirational messages.

    3. Create a powerpoint presentation / video that can be used in assembly / class / website to inform interested parties and staff about the governing body.

    4. Being involved in doing surveys of opinion / knowledge to flag up any areas of concern or have evidence that action plans had good outcomes.

    5. Acting as chair / minute taker for school council meetings.

    6. Observing school processes / lessons / activities. Recording any points of interest and discussing with senior leaders.

    7. Being a link governor for a specific aspect of the school. E.g. Training, attendance, SEN,

    8. Having a regular surgery for parents/ pupils / staff to discus one-to-one with a governor ( probably with a focus in mind e.g. behaviour / resources / support etc ).
    Any thoughts ?
  2. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Some of those things we already do, especially in terms of school activities, link governor, lessons etc.

    I wouldn't be in a position to meet and greet at the school gates, nor would I wish to inflict Powerpoints on anyone. I'd prefer that got to know about the GB by more direct contact, less formally.
  3. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    The attendance officer agreed that having someone meeting/greeting at the gate might improve attendance. I suggested the 'pull factor' might be far greater if pupils were greeted by one of their favourite Disney characters - but no one was willing to dress-up. I might volunteer to do a few turns in a Tiger onesie or as a 'mad professor' just to see what reactions I get.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I guess this is a Primary school? I can't imagine meeting and greeting in a secondary would get you much contact with parents.

    No mention of things like newsletters, governors pages in them? Prominent noticeboard in entrance with governors photos and bios?

    Social events? PTA events?

    We've tried having a regular surgery ( a secondary school) but it wasn't a great success. In our area parents had no interest whatsoever in the 'strategic' focus of governors and only ever wanted to talk about their own child, what they did or didn't like about teacher X , complaining their child shouldn't have had a detention etc - all things we really had nothing useful to say about other then suggest they make an appointment with HT. We did it at Parents Evenings so there was plenty of footfall. I suspect if we'd arranged it as separate meeting when parents weren't otherwise in school no parents would have turned up! It's hard to run a governors surgery without it turning into the 'customer complaints department'.

    6 is obvious thing we are always encouraged to do - school visits. If you don't already do it though it needs careful planning. The biggest risk is no governors volunteer to do it.

    Link governors also a feature of many (most?) GBs, although none of them are a statutory requirement despite what some LAs and special interest groups will allege. If you have no Link governor arrangements at the moment it's useful to start it with one or two governors doing it for something they are genuinely interested in. If you twist someone's arm when they don't really have an interest it won't work well. There's plenty of advcie about on best practice. Make sure you have formal TORs for Link Governors so they have some idea what's expected. If governors are inexperienced/lacking confidence you can 'job share' the role, two governors could eg be link SEN governor together.

    Maybe the CoG could attend Student Council sometimes? - I don't see why a governor should be expected to do the minutes though.

    Get a question about governors included in any parent surveys that the school is doing.

    "Address the pupils at assembly with information/anecdotes / inspirational messages". Your reviewer must know more inspirational governors than I do!
    neddyfonk likes this.
  5. pourquoi

    pourquoi New commenter

    I think there's a little bit too much made of governor 'engagement' with stakeholders. IMHO its's the job of the professionals in the school to 'engage' with pupils, parents and staff and its the governing body job to be assured that they do - which may include an element of direct monitoring. The governing body's engagement comes through the transparency of minutes and annual reports if they exist and clear processes that are in place to manage complaints and grievances.
  6. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    I would tend to agree if it were not a fact that some heads only supply the information they wish to convey and festering problems lie hidden until an announcement has to be made ( often just before something gets into the public domain ). Financial decision making is also often done without reference to governors or seeking approval until orders are actually in process. Perestroika and Glasnost are not always present in schools.
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  7. Grefintec

    Grefintec New commenter

    Hi. What is the 'Review of Governance'? Is it something that was carried out by an external reviewer for a particular school or is a national document?

  8. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    The NGA (National Governors Association) website covers some aspects of this. Our review was recommended by the Local Authority when there had been teacher retention problems and a dip in pupil progress. An Ofsted inspection loomed so an experienced LA officer was contracted to take us through the process. We did a self evaluation and ended up with an action plan to address the shortcomings over a one year period. It did not stop us from being given a 'Requires Improvement' but it showed Ofsted that there was a plan in place and they left us alone for over a year to get on with it.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It is something carried out by an external reviewer for a particular school.


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