Become a parent governor

Could you be our Parent Governor?

We are looking for a new Parent Governor.

You don’t have to be an expert in education to be a school governor - you need an interest in the school and in the welfare of the pupils as well as the time and willingness to get involved. As a parent, you will bring a particularly important perspective to the local governing body.

Parent governors will be a parent or carer of a pupil at the School and are elected by parents (and those with parental responsibilities) at the School.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 6th January 2015, and you can apply using the link below.

 

About Ark

Ark is an education charity and one of the country’s top-performing academy operators with 31 schools in our network. Our aim is to create outstanding schools that give every Ark pupil the opportunity to go to university or pursue the career of their choice.

The Ark board of trustees oversees the central organisation and is the legal governing body for all Ark academies. The board of trustees delegates many of its functions to each academy’s local governing body (LGB).

Each LGB consists of 6 to 15 governors and will be made up from several stakeholder groups which includes parents, staff, the Local Authority, Ark and, for schools in our network with a Church of England affiliation, the Diocese.

 

What do school governors do?

Governors work collectively to support the school to ensure that the pupils are able to achieve to the best of their ability. The core job of the LGB is monitoring the implementation of the Academy’s educational and financial plans. It works with the Headteacher/ Principal and senior leadership team to monitor and evaluate progress. Its focus should be on the achievement of high standards, establishing and maintaining high expectations and promoting effective teaching and learning.

A successful and effective LGB will:

  • Monitor implementation of the school development plan and school finances effectively
  • Act as a critical friend, developing a strong and supportive relationship with the principal
  • Consult and respond to the views and concerns of parents and students
  • Be knowledgeable about the academy
  • Use the skills of all members.

 

Whilst the LGB will support the Headteacher/ Principal and staff and exists to promote the interests of the academy and its pupils, it can only be effective if it asks challenging questions and seeks sufficient information to make sound decisions. Although governors are not involved in the day-to-day management of the school, the Headteacher/ Principal should discuss the main aspects of school life with the LGB and provide it with sufficient information to make decisions and fulfil its responsibilities to parents and to Ark.

All governors are expected to attend LGB meetings, which are held six times a year in school and do not last more than two hours. In addition, you may be expected to join a committee or take on a ‘link’ role to understand a particular area of the school’s activity.

 

As a parent governor, what will I be expected to do?

As a governor, you will need to commit time to prepare for and attend LGB meetings, to take a share of tasks within the LGB, to visit the school including during school hours, and to take part in training.

As a parent governor, you will bring your parental viewpoint to the LGB. Through your children you will have first-hand experience of the curriculum and how the school is perceived from a parents’ perspective. Parent governors are elected by other parents and it is important to establish a rapport with the parental body that elected you, whilst continuing to maintain a strategic approach to school governance.

As a Parent Governor:

  • You will not be representing individual parents or their concerns, you are helping to ensure that the school meets the needs of all its pupils.
  • Other parents may approach you with to concerns but you should not become personally involved in individual concerns, as this may jeopardise formal procedures. You should guide parents about appropriate lines of action and procedures.
  • You do not need to express opinions or vote in a particular way because you have been pressed to do so by other parents.
  • You are not there to promote the interests of your own children but of all children.
  • Objectivity is essential.

 

Ark will provide a structured induction, provide information and guidance on the role and we will provide ongoing support and training. Like all governors, you will be a volunteer but there is an Expenses Policy in place for governors.

Parent Governors are elected for a two year term of office. You can complete your term of office if your child leaves the Academy. You may resign at any time by giving notice to the Clerk to the LGB. Being a Parent Governor does not disqualify you from your usual rights as a parent including making a complaint.

Like all Ark governors, you will need to be loyal to the decisions made by the LGB and respect the confidentiality of LGB affairs – even if you personally voted against a decision you must support the corporate decision making process and take ownership of the outcome.

You will be required to undergo an enhanced disclosure DBS check and must agree to adhere to the Ark governors’ Code of Conduct.  You will also be required to declare an interest and may need to withdraw from specific discussions where you, a partner or close relative or associate stands to gain or where you are so close to a matter being discussed that it will be difficult for you to be impartial.

 

What skills do I need?

You do not need any specific skills or experience to be a parent governor. Governors do not need to be experts in the field of education; what they do need is an interest in the school and in the welfare of the pupils as well as the time and willingness to get involved. And you must be confident in reading the documents that will be sent to you before each meeting.

Each LGB undertakes a regular skills audit. When the Headteacher/ Principal write to you with full details of the election process for the Parent Governor role, they will highlight any specific skills or experience that the LGB is keen to bring on board at the moment. However, this list will not be exhaustive so if you bring other skills please do consider standing.

 

What is the election process?

All parents (and those with parental responsibilities) at the School are eligible to stand as candidates, and vote in the election.  If there are more candidates than vacancies then an election will be held.  Each parent will have one vote for every parent governor vacancy. Similarly to all governor positions in the Ark network, the Parent Governor will be formally appointed by the Ark Governance Manager.

If you wish to stand, you will need to nominate yourself by completing the online form at: http://arkonline.tfaforms.net/2. You will be asked to answer some questions and provide a brief statement which will be circulated to all parents if an election is needed. The School can provide support completing this online form or you can use a computer in school to complete it. The School will share the information on the timing for nominations to be received - there will be a strict deadline and applications will not be accepted after this time.

 

Need more information?

If you think you may be interested in becoming a parent governor and you need any further information, please contact the school office at info@arkelvinacademy.org.