Parent Governor Letter

4.7.17

Dear Parents,

We would like to offer you and your child a warm welcome to Cove Junior School from the Governors. Thank you for choosing our school; we are sure that your child will be very happy here.

As governors we have been busy carrying out our duties in making sure that the senior leadership have plans in place to uphold the high standards at Cove Junior School, that they provide a safe environment and conform to the legal requirements in place for all schools, and that they have a clear vision for the future.

Together with the staff, the Governors have recently commissioned an online survey. We have used these results, along with staff surveys and conferencing with children, to develop our long-term strategic plan. This starts initially with finding space to operate after school clubs and wrap around care. Quotes are already being sought to help cost a new building, so that we know how much money we need to do this properly. This is obviously a very exciting phase in our school’s development, which leads me to the second reason for writing to you.

We currently have two Parent Governor vacancies on our governing body. Our skills analysis has demonstrated a need to increase the level of Health and Safety expertise on our team, however, if you are keen to support the school and its children, to help the school become the community hub it could be, if you can commit to attending up to 3 meetings per half term and don’t mind reading through policies and building quotes WE WANT YOU!

I have attached some frequently asked questions to this letter. If you are interested and would like to find out more about joining us on the governing body, please get in touch with me through the following email or through the school office.

Chair.gov@cove-jun.hants.sch.uk

If you would like to apply, please follow the link to find the application form

http://documents.hants.gov.uk/governors/SchoolGovernorApplicationForm-October2016.pdf

If there are more applicants than places, the information you provide on page 2 of the form will be provided to parents, so that they can vote for their preferred applicant. If there are two or fewer applicants, places will be awarded subject to interview by a small number of current governors.

Please hand in your completed application form to the school office, marked ‘For the attention of the Clerk to the Governors’ by Friday September 15th 2017.

I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes for a lovely summer holiday,

Sarah Merry

Chair of Governors

On behalf of Cove Junior School Governing Body

Cove Junior School

Q & A for new Governors

What are the roles and responsibilities as a governor?

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and for the performance management of staff.
  • Overseeing financial performance of the school and making sure money is well spent.

What are the different types of governor?

Parent

Co-opted

Staff

LA

Headteacher 

How much of my personal time am I expected to invest?

There are 2 full governing body meetings per term which usually last around an hour and a half. There are 3 subcommittees which also meet once or twice termly- these too last about an hour and a half, governors normally sit on 2 committees. So a governor can expect to spend around 6 hours a term in meetings. In addition there is a free training package which can be done in one day or split into more convenient evening sessions. Other training is provided to assist with developing understanding of the work of the committees.

Outside meeting dates, what is the commitment?

Governors are asked to attend school functions such as prospective parents’ evenings, school fairs and school productions. This is entirely voluntary.

What is a pecuniary interest – when should I declare?

This is where a governor might stand to appreciably gain financially or personally through being a member of the governing body, or discussing agenda items put before them. A governor must declare this, when asked at the beginning of each meeting attended. If the governor could be seen as having a permanent interest ( e.g. if the governor is a school employee) they do not have to declare their interest at every meeting.

This does not prevent them from contributing to any discussion but allows for any remarks to be put in context.

Does this prevent me from becoming a governor?

No

I am busy at work, should I still consider becoming a governor?

Being a Governor can be personally rewarding and provides focus outside of work.

Personal development, training, a number of new skills are acquired that cross over into the work place. Many companies actively encourage employees to do voluntary work in the community and some provide time off during the day for this purpose.

When should I visit the school?

Visits should be agreed with school beforehand. They may be in the form of helping a class on a school trip or more formally accompanying a subject manager whilst looking at an agreed focus area from the school improvement plan.

Please refer to our Governor Visit Policy for details.

How long am I committed to being a governor?

The normal term is for 4 years however this is not contractual and some governors do step down.

Do I need to be DBS checked? (Formerly CRB)

Yes. Currently all of our governing body are DBS checked.

What is off limits?

Governors are a critical friend to the school and are there to support and challenge. Governors are not responsible for the day to day running of the school and should not attempt to interfere with the work of the Headteacher and staff.

Am I legally accountable?

Yes- governors are responsible for ensuring that the school delivers the curriculum as laid down by Parliament, that the school operates under proper financial guidelines and that all policies, as directed by Ofsted, are in place, monitored and regularly reviewed. Governors are accountable as a group rather than individually as all decisions are taken collectively.