What to expect if you are interested in becoming a Governor
School governors are volunteers who work with the school to ensure it delivers a good quality education. They are involved in decisions about all aspects of the school including running buildings and budgets, supporting staff, and agreeing school policies. They also help to make decisions about the school’s long-term goals. Governors support the Headteacher, but also ask questions and make sure that the Headteacher is taking the school in the right direction.
Anyone over the age of 18 with a child at the school can apply to be a school governor. People who apply have to sign a form to say that they are not disqualified for any reason. The school office can provide more information about the types of things that might disqualify someone from being a Governor.
The main things that you need to be a school governor are enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education. It is also useful if you can bring skills from other areas of your life. At Home Farm, we have a ‘buddy’ system in which more experienced Governors partner up with new Governors for a while to help them learn more about the role.
As a member of the Governing Body at Home Farm, you would need to attend a meeting of the full Governing Body for two hours every half-term. These are generally held after 6pm on a weekday evening. You also need a bit of time before the meetings to read and digest the information you have been sent. Some Governors are also members of other committees or working groups, which look at specific issues and meet from time to time for about an hour. Those meetings are arranged at times to suit the Governors who are involved.
In between meetings, Governors carry out monitoring visits to school. This might involve you coming in to school for about an hour during the school day to meet with staff or see something in action. The frequency of this varies, but about once a term might be a good guide. Governors are also welcome at other school events, but attendance is not compulsory.
If the school goes through any big changes in the way it is organised or run, the time commitment needed by Governors may increase a little.
If you would like to find out more about being a Governor, you can speak to one of the existing parent Governors or contact the Chair of the Governing Body through the school office or by emailing Governor@homefarm.essex.sch.uk
If you work and you are interested in being a Governor, it is worth speaking to your employer first, as some employers offer time off for Governor duties.