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Parent governor observation - am I right to be annoyed?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by newteacher1981, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. This morning one of my parents (who is a parent governor) came into the classroom and said "I'm just confirming it's ok for me to come and observe you this afternoon?" my response was that I knew nothing about it and that it is my PPA time on a Friday afternoon. He said that he would come in anyway as he had promised his son he would be in to watch his lesson. So he is currently observing my poor TA covering my class. My headteacher is not here today but I have been informed by the secretary that she has known for weeks. I am thoroughly annoyed to say the least, I feel that I should not only have been told that he was coming to observe me but also asked. I actually do not think that it is appropriate for a parent governor to observe their own child's class teacher as it raises issues of their motives?
    Do you think that I am right to be annoyed and how do you think I should broach the subject with my (unapproachable) headteacher?
  2. Does your school have a protocol for governors' visits? Both mine do, and teachers should be asked if they would agree to governor observation of lessons in advance (at least a week I think), and given the right to refuse (even on the day - essential in EBD schools where the situation may not be right on any given day). That seems to me to be common sense. I also think there are problems with a parent observing their own child's class in a non-parental capacity (not necessarily a problem with parents sitting in a class as a parent, with the teacher's agreement of course), but not as a governor. I think you are right to be annoyed, and perhaps the best way to deal with it is to say to the head upfront that you found it upsetting and annoying not to be told about the visit in advance, and not to be asked if you minded.
  3. Interesting use of 'observation' I feel. To a teacher it implies assessment of what is going on in their classroom. Governors should not be observing in that sense as most have no teaching qualifications themselves - it would be highly inappropriate!
    I am a governor and as such I am expected to undertake governor 'visits'. We have a policy and a timetable; one governor each month. However it has been stressed that this is to get a good feeling for the school, its ethos, standards, and consistency in areas such as behaviour. We don't even use the term obeservation. Teachers do always get notice of visits though and I hope they are also made aware that Governors are not there to make a judgement about teaching standards.
    It is important that govervors really know what is going on in a school, and don't just rely on what they are told by others. And many only see inside the school at a governors meeting otherwise.
    My children attend the school where I am a Governor and I myself hold QTS so my visit next month will certainly be interesting!
  4. Quite right, I am a parent governor, plus have work in school, a governor should only "visit" to see how the curriculum is being taught, also they should meet with the class teacher to discuss and sort out how they can help out during the lesson. We have a policy whereby governors can visit during school time (with HT approval) and I have done some of this, but I would not consider doing my childs class
  5. This is going to vary widely between schools, and also "observation" seems to mean different things to different people. Governors aren't there to observe in the sense of making formal judgements about the quality of the lesson, but they are there to observe in the sense of looking at what goes on and improving their knowledge of how the school operates. How they participate in the lesson will also vary widely. I've been in a design and technology lesson where helped a boy with work (encouragement and support rather than pushing them out of the way and showing them how to use a hacksaw!), an ICT lesson where I fixed a faulty computer (my day job) and then sat with one of the students talking about what they were doing, a games lesson where I stood on the sidelines and watched. I think the games lesson was the only one where I was asked beforehand if I wanted to join in - but in each case, I already knew the teacher well, and only joined in on their invitation. That, I think, is the key to observing lessons as a governor - you're not there to judge, you shouldn't be pushy, and the teacher is in charge at all times (even if it is the head teacher, who insists on calling me "my boss" in front of the children, which I wish he wouldn't do).
  6. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    We have just come out of notice to improve. I am a teaching governor at my school, our governors were asking about coming in to make observations. My head told them quite clearly that they could come and observe how the school operates and go into classes chosen by him, but NOT to make any observations about teaching and learning. He has allowed them to observe him, or a head of department make an officail observation, so they can understand how this process works.
  7. I am a Parent Governor & Chair of Governors at a Infant & Nursery school - I have been a governor for 9 years. I went to training from the LA about observations of teaching but not on how to observe!
    • <li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">I would NEVER observe in my child&rsquo;s class.<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">It is inappropriate for governors who are not qualified to observe.<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">I give feedback as how I felt the children engaged with the lesson but would not observe in an official capacity.<li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">If I am correct from the training three years ago - there is a limit to how often a teacher can be observered.
    The 2006 Performance Management Regulations (England and Wales) require each school governing body to consult all teachers within its school and to seek to agree a performance management policy with &lsquo;the recognised trade unions, having regard to the consultation with all teachers&rsquo;. The performance management policy should contain the school&rsquo;s classroom observation protocol. Agreement by school governing bodies on their performance management policies and classroom observation protocols should be reached prior to the start of the performance management cycle. Guidance from the Government on performance management and classroom observation, entitled &lsquo;Rewards and Incentives Group &ndash; Teachers&rsquo; and Head

    Sorry for the long post!
  8. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    only in relation to their performance management
  9. When your car was last serviced, did you go and observe? Or what about your local GP?
    Tripe. No wonder noone stays in teaching. Find me parents who are better educated than the average teacher and I will be a monkey's uncle.

  10. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    when i ran a motor trades business people were always welcome to stay and watch and every MOT station must provide a viewing area so anyone who wants to watch their car being tested can do so ....
  11. So your nephews and neices are long-tailed primates then Smirk? There are loads of parents out there who are better educated than the average teacher. Now if you had said the 'average parent' rather than just 'parent' .................
  12. I admit, maybe those sending their kids to Eton or other such institutions may be a bit smarter than average.

    However, most British parents want to hear that their little darling is doing well and is going to get A**** in all subjects. They do not wish to hear anything else.
    The problem is fourfold: 1. telling bad news to parents however unpalatable it may be is very difficult; 2. it is easier to get rid of staff than kids; 3. somebody has to fail. Now kids fail in the 1st or 2nd year of uni instead of their A levels etc. and this is a huge waste. 4. If Johnny does well, well done Johnny. If Johnny does bad it is never, ever his fault and has to be someone else's!
  13. Oh, and most parents are very very average. And stupid.
  14. Just like most teachers ...
    No comment
    mentediaz likes this.
  15. So parents who send their kids to public/private schools are smarter than the rest of us?
    They are certainly, on average, richer than the rest of us. But the ones that I know generally try to compensate for the intellectual deficiencies they have passed to their kids by sending them to private school.
    Are non-British parents different then?
    If that were true - and I don't necessarily believe that it is - then it would be quite appropriate. Staff are paid to be in school, from the public purse. Kids are not.
    If staff are incompetent, then they shouldn't be allowed to remain a drain on the rest of us.
  16. Gordon Brown went to a state grammar school, but Boris Johnson and the leader of the Conservative Party didn't. Lord Mandelson is decended from a former deputy prime minister. Money is not question, the leader of the Opposition has thirty million quid in the bank.Tony Benn is decended from old aristocracy and is loaded.
    'Non' British parents are different, at least many non-white. Statistically Indians as a minority in Britain fare much better than their white counterparts at school. A disproportionate number go to uni. Same goes for the Chinese community. Blacks do not and there is a disproportionate percentage of blacks in prison, and prison has always been linked to levels of literacy and education. Whether they are non-British or not and what they consider themselves is, surely, another question. It does not change the fact that most peoplein prison are white and from Basildon, but hey they wasn't the original thread.
    We live in a racist country where there are many different types of 'British'. British Citizen, British National, British National (Overseas) and British Protected Persons to name but a few. Look in your passport. 'Only British Citizens have the right of abode in the United Kingdom' as many Gurkas have found out, at least until Joanna Lovely fought and stood up for them.I am English, and British but my kids- born and always lived in a foreign land- are British but certainly not English I am.
    Kids are not paid?!!!! Well, do you think they should be? How is it that certain schools come up with vacancies again and again and again and again and again?.......
    Incompetent staff should be sacked. Unfortunately most teachers work harder than kids.
  17. typo 'descended'
  18. Try being Irish and going to America on a 'British National' passport without a visa and tell usall what happens.
  19. Public schools CAN permanently exclude kids, which is what parents like. If HMG goes on to eliminate the charity status of public schools then they will move abroad, most likely to Canada, USA, NZ and Australia. Many schools already have links and networks abroad, for example Gordonstoun. Eton et al have a lot of redevelopment value.
  20. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    And your point is?
    I think David Cameron will be upset to hear that you think Boris Johnson is the leader of the Conservative party - obviously it's not just the parents who are uneducated [​IMG]

    You should not confuse citizenship with right of residence and vice versa. I think you will find that anyone who fulfils the conditions for the right of residence can live in the UK.

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