Governor "blog" - Being a Governor
I was originally a Parent Governor at the Infants – I worked on the merging of the two schools when we had a temporary governing body; and now I am the Chair of Governors for Honley JI&N. I love being a Governor, and want to start to share some of what we do through these updates. What I love is seeing how the school is run – we don’t do that, Miss Goodall and the Leadership Team do – but we offer our experience from a variety of backgrounds; we can be a critical friend and a fresh pair of eyes; and sometimes an extra pair of hands. We get involved in making some big decisions like whether to merge the schools, appointing the new head, opening Honley Daycare as part of the school. Coming from a business background I see a lot of similarities with how I run a business, but a lot of differences – while I have staff to deal with, I don’t have to worry about children or parents – but the constraints on budgets are the same wherever you look.
I work for an IT company, have done for 25 years, and I manage a team of people who deliver all sorts of services from admin to software asset management. I didn’t think I had time to be a Governor as well as working full time and being a mum. But there is always time – and I am better when I am busy! It doesn’t take up that much time – we meet once every half term and each committee meets also – that’s only 2 meetings and they are in the evening. When we are recruiting interviews are during the school day; and obviously any school visits. I am lucky that my employer gives me up to a day a month to be a Governor – I rarely use it all, but have a lot of flexibility so can do more when things are quieter at work. And we work well as a team – with a lot of diverse skills & experience. Some Governors work in education – several are teachers at the school which surprised me. And then some of us have no experience in education other than as a pupil and a parent ourselves.
At the moment most of our time is spent getting things in place for the new school – lots of policies and processes to review, and until we have been through at least a full year, maybe two, it will all still feel new. There are a lot of conversations about the new budget as we still had the budgets from the Infant and Junior Schools until March 18; and also about staffing as that needed some changes for the new school and there have been bouts of sickness which cannot be avoided but need to be covered. We have been at Parents Evenings recently in case anyone has any queries. And we are now coming to the time of year when we review performance statistics and talk about how they can continue to improve. That’s the thought I have the most as a Governor – everyone is trying to improve all the time – not just paying lip service to it; really wanting to improve for the good of all our children.
I hope you find these updates useful, please do let us know if you have any queries or thoughts or suggestions for us on how we can be even better Governors to Honley JI&N. Victoria Ward March 2018
Chair - Victoria Ward
Vice-Chair - Rebecca Johnstone
Paul Lomas (Chair)
Kirsty James (Chair)