The Role of a Parent Governor
What do parent governors do?
Parent governors bring their wealth of experience and knowledge, contributing to the successful running of their child’s school. Being a governor is a "hands off" role – decisions made by the board influence the whole school, but governors are not responsible for, or involved in, the day-to-day running of the school. The role is a necessary part of ensuring the good functioning of school leadership. Governors set the ethos of the school and drive for continuous improvement, and they also oversee financial performance and ensure money is well-spent. Governors commission the head teacher and other school leaders to act on their behalf in putting their ideas into practice, and they ensure that the school leadership is held to account in doing so.
What responsibility and influence do parent governors have?
Quite a lot. It is the Board of Governors’ role to:
- Appoint the Headteacher.
- Hold the school leadership to account.
- Ensure school staff have training, support and resources to be effective.
- Maintain oversight of the school’s budget spending, including pupil premium allocation.
- Decide on the aims, strategy, vision and ethos of the school.
- Determine ways to put all of the above into practice as part of the school development plan.
- Hear the later stages of staff grievances or pupil exclusion appeals.
As you can see, school governors have both a creative and managerial remit. They develop ideas and strategies for putting those ideas in to practice, but also hold leaders to account and offer them constructive feedback on their performance.
Responsibility does not rest with any one individual. Decisions are made by the board as a whole, and individual governors are not held to account for collective decisions.
Boards of Governors can also work with the whole school community, connecting with the wider community and engaging prospective parents.
How big a commitment is being a parent governor?
The term of office is usually four years, and it may extend beyond their child’s time at the school if their child graduates or changes school during the four-year period. During this time, you would be expected to attend and contribute thoughts and ideas to the governing board’s meetings.
The Governing Body meet once a term, usually in the evening from 7pm to approximately 9pm. The meetings are held in the school conference room and are attended by approximately 20 people. Refreshments are available. The meetings follow a set agenda distributed prior to the event and lively discussion is encouraged. Additionally, you will be expected to visit the school as part of your duties in order to monitor and evaluate as you gain understanding for your role, and take on training for the role through the Local Authority (LA).
You may also be invited to school events such as sports days to increase the visibility of the governing board to parents and represent your school to the community. Under current employment law, employers must allow employees to undertake their duties at school, but this may be paid or unpaid, so speak to your employer and find out what their policy is.
You may resign at any time by giving written notice to the clerk on your board of governors.
What skills do parent governors need?
There is no set skillset that marks out an ideal parent governor. So long as you are over 18 years of age and have a child at the school you can express an interest in becoming a parent governor for the school. It falls to the judgement of the board that any parent wishing to act as a governor has the relevant skills and experience to govern effectively and contribute to the success of the school. Prospective candidates are invited to contact school for more information about the responsibilities and expectations of the role before putting themselves forward for election. There’s also a legal requirement for parents to be DBS checked before starting their post as a governor.
What's in it for parents?
There's plenty of opportunity to learn new skills, working with others to help to develop useful policies that will benefit the education of children. The role may sound formal, but governors play a vital role in the running of the school and most people enjoy their time as a governor, as well as appreciating the sense of duty and opportunity to show loyalty to their school. You may also progress to being a chair, which brings added responsibility. The experiences of school governorship look great on any CV, and can even create career opportunities.
Not only that, but you will also get to know your child’s school, especially in terms of its strengths and weaknesses. You will gain a great understanding of how the school is run, and this will have a positive knock-on effect on your child’s education, academic outcomes and school life.
How do you become a parent governor?
If you are interested in becoming a parent governor, speak to your school’s chair of governors or express your interest through application form or introductory email. You can also register your interest on Inspiring Governance – the school governance and recruitment website.
How are parent governors appointed?
Schools fill parent governor roles through elections. Parent governors are elected by other parents, who can vote for candidates. Any parent with a child at the school is eligible to apply for the position of governor, but there is no guarantee of being elected to the board.
Our Current Parent Governors
|Name||Term Start||Term End|
|Shabana M Anwar||30th September 2015||29th September 2019|
|Aasim Rashid||2nd November 2016||1st November 2020|
|Tina B Chester||6th November 2014||5th November 2018|