Getting involved at your child's school: Becoming a parent governor
One way to get involved at your child's school is to become a parent governor. If you are interested then you can contact the clerk to the governing body to find out when there will be a vacancy. You can also let the headteacher know of your interest because there may be other types of vacancies on the governing body.
When a parent governor vacancy exists the Clerk to the Governors writes to all parents asking for nominations. If the school receives more than one nomination a ballot is held and parents are invited to vote for their preferred candidate. Once appointed the Clerk to the Governors provides the new governor with an information pack and an introduction to another governor who acts as a mentor.
What qualifications do governors need?
There are no formal qualifications. Schools need volunteers with experience of life. The one essential requirement is an interest in, and commitment to, the education of children. Governors are ordinary people, drawn from many areas of society. They need to be able to devote time to getting to know the school well and be available to support and challenge it.
A governor must be a good listener, and someone who is able to read and take in information easily. A governor must be able to:
- raise questions and take part in discussion and decision-making
- be discreet, open minded and fair
- be a source of ideas and a good communicator
- be enthusiastic about the work of the school
- be prepared to work as part of a team.
Length of Service
The usual term of office is four years. However, governors are volunteers who can leave at any time and can similarly be re-appointed or re-elected.
Support for Governors
A great deal of professional advice and support is available to help governors with their duties and responsibilities.
- East Sussex Governor Services provide a comprehensive induction programme.
- Governors are also supported by the headteacher, the chair of governors and senior staff employed in the Children's Services Authority.
- National Governor organisations run by governors for governors, including a wide range of advice and guidance for governors online including the National Governors' Association.