Parent governors are part of a team that work with your children’s head teacher to enable the successful running of your child’s school. They meet at least once a term. Lucy Scott, AFF Education & Childcare Specialist, talks to two Army spouses to investigate what’s involved…

Lynda Valevou is a parent governor at St Paul’s Infant School in Kent and Sarah Casey is a parent governor at Five Acres Primary School in Bicester. I started by asking them what made them decide to become a governor?

Lynda explains, ‘The main reason was that I have a big interest in my son’s school and how it’s run. I was no longer working as I am now at home with the children and it was something I had the time to do and thought I would enjoy it – I was right! Plus a lot of the children from the Army camp go there and so I thought it would be nice to have someone from here involved.’

Sarah agrees, ‘I wanted to be a helpful part of the community I live in, especially being a part of the Armed Forces and moving around. I think being a school governor helps improve the running of the school that in a small way that will benefit Forces families coming to the area in the future.’

How easy did you find the process?

‘I found the process very easy – I had to write saying a bit about myself and why I was interested in the position’ explains Lynda. It was the same for Sarah, she says, ‘A letter was sent asking for nominations and in the event of there being more than two applicants a vote was held by the school to elect the governors needed.’

Training

There are school governor training courses that you can attend – some are one day courses available at the weekend. Sarah says, ‘I am often emailed about courses available, which I will take up as the more knowledge you have the better.’

As a governor you will be involved with budgets, targets, policies and recruiting. Posts vary in length from school to school. Some of you may think you will not stay long enough in one place. This may not be a problem as Sarah says, ‘The school has about sixty per cent of Service children and as such the head teacher embraces any input Service families parents can give.’

A final word from Lynda, ‘I really didn’t have a clue what I was applying for when I applied to become a parent governor – though I still really enjoy it! It’s not what I expected at all – it’s not about making changes to the school or making decisions; it’s more about ensuring the school is being run properly. My advice to families is if there is ever anything that you are unhappy about at your child’s school then never hesitate to ask for an appointment to see the class teacher or head. If you are still not happy after this, your next step could be to write to the governors.’

To find out more about becoming a parent governor, visit www.gov.uk/become-school-college-governor

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