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Interview question: How would you involve parents and governors?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by boat4boat, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. How would i answer this as an interview question? Thank you.[​IMG]

    Interview question: How would you involve parents and governors?

    <h2>Governors Responsibilities </h2>
    Although the head teacher is responsible for the day to day management of the school, he/she will be implementing policies made by the governing body.

    It&rsquo;s the responsibility of the governing body to:
    • Agree the aims and values of the school
    • Draw up and review the School Development Plan
    • Make and review school policies
    • Set and monitor the school budget
    • Appoint Staff
    • Ensure the National Curriculum is taught
    • Ensure the needs of the individual pupils are met, including special needs
    • Prepare and present the Annual Report to Parents
    • Establish and maintain positive links with the local community
    • Have a published strategy for dealing with parental complaints
    • Ensure Health & Safety issues are addressed.
  2. Informant

    Informant New commenter

    Depends on the position you are applying for and whether it's primary or secondary teaching.
    For primary, parents can be a useful resource, especially to help with individual reading, accompanying on visits or as visiting speakers to share a life experience or specialism. Without CRB checks they need to be chaperoned and beware parents insiting their presence should be a feature of your school/classroom.
    For secondary it's more conventional/safer to keep parents at arms length. To share a life experience or for mentoring occasionally may be appropriate, but there will be a school policy which constrains (guides) such activity.
    Headteachers may use parents for PTA/Friends of the school fundraising or community activities.
    Governors have a clear role with a mission to improve standards. Each subject should have an associated individual governor who liaises with Head of Dept periodically and maybe visits to see some teaching (it's not a lesson onservation). Headteacher may proactively invite them in but perhaps not individual staff.
    I comment as a secondary teacher, but my wife taught primary and we are both parents and former governors in our own sector. Hope this helps
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    'How would you involve parents and governors is a classic 'Governors on the interview panel who want to ask a question to which they might feasibly know some answers' question.
    As a head I've always banned such questions by ensuring that all questions are allied closely to the person specification.
    That's no help to the average teacher being asked such a pointless question (if you're applying for a mainscale job, you shouldn't be attempting to do anything that your head hasn't sanctioned) - but you might want to develop an answer along the lines of:
    * classroom teachers should communicate regularly with parents via the child's diary/planner, indicating not only any concerns or problems but also positive comments. Any more pressing concerns should be communicated to parents, but in line with school policy (e.g. via the appropriate senior member of staff)
    * Parents need to be aware of the homework timetable, to be clear about what is being set and encouraged to support the school in ensuring their child completes and returns it
    * (if primary) the teacher should advise parents as to when s/he is available for consultation, but avoid giving the impression that s/he can be consulted at any time
    * The school can develop links with parents in a number of ways (list type of events parents can be invited to, from parents' meetings about their child's progress, open days/afternoons, school plays/events, etc; PTA events)
    * The school can encourage governor involvement by encouraging governors to become link governors, attached to a subject or area and arrange visits and meetings with staff.

  4. Middlemarch I have an interview coming up and a governor is going to be on the panel. What types of questions do you think the governor will ask?
  5. It could be anything. It could even be subject-specific if the person concerned is a link governor (good reason to be on the panel) and knows something about the subject area and department. Or it could be more to do with the general ethos of the school, such as support for extra-curricular activities, community involvement or faith (if it's a church school). If a parent governor, it can be about how accessible you are going to be or how you seek to meet your pastoral responsibility.
    While the success of your interview depends largely on your calibre as a teacher, remember that every member of the panel, including governor(s), has equal vote.
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    often these days, governors will ask questions which have been prepared by the headteacher - it's irrielevant who asks which question at most interviews, since they all listen.
    Governors can (as I indicated above) sometimes ask questions they've invented themselves (if allowed) and in my experience these can be a bit daft. I was once asked at a headship interview 'What do you understand by the term 24/7?' I realised that what he as getting at was the concept of schools offering 'services' all day every day, but other candidates were left bemused by it and I felt this was unfair.
    I did get this headship - and the same governor kept wanting to ask this question at other interviews. In the end, I told him bluntly that a question most candidates don't even understand is a bad question.

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