Governors join governing bodies via different routes. One category of governors is that of parent governors who are elected by the parent body. Clerk to Governors has information on organizing parent governor elections. We thought it would be a good idea to draft a letter which could go out to parents when a vacancy arises. Our followers have contributed their thoughts and the result is the letter which appears below. Note that this is not the nomination form and does not have information about the election and eligibility criteria. The purpose of this letter is to inform parents about the role of the governing body and the important part played by parent governors. All too often we find that parents join the governing body without a clear idea of what the governing body expects from them and what can they expect in return. This letter attempts to address this.
The governing body is responsible for both the conduct of the school and for promoting high standards. The governing body carries out its role by setting the vision for the school and then ensuring that the school works efficiently and effectively towards achieving its vision. It does this by building a thorough knowledge of the school and its community, by both supporting and constructively challenging the school, and by ensuring accountability and compliance. The governing body of our school is made up of parent governors, staff governors, [insert other categories].
A vacancy has arisen for a parent governor on our governing body. The governing body is asking you to nominate someone with parental responsibility for a child at the school. If it receives more than one nomination, then a ballot will be held.
Before you decide to nominate someone, or indeed stand yourself, you may want to know a bit more about what is involved. Governors need not be experts in the field of education. What they do need is an interest in the school and in the welfare of our children and the time and willingness to get involved. The skills you have can be very useful to the governing body. At the moment the governing body is lacking governors who have expertise in [insert what skills you want]. If you are someone with the required experience, would you consider applying? Governors also need what is known as ‘soft skills’ – the ability to be able to build relationships with a range of people, to be able to work as part of a team, to be able to question, and to make connections between different types of information. All governors are expected to be able to read straightforward budget reports and data on school standards.
Our governing body expects governors to
- attend [add number] termly meetings of the full governing body
- sit on [add name] committee and attend the meetings which are usually [add number] a term
- visit the school formally for monitoring purposes at least [add number] times a term/year
- visit the school informally at least [add number] times a year
- commit to attend training courses, perform additional research as required and take part in monitoring at least [add number] areas within the school
In return, our governing body commits to
- provide you with a structured induction
- provide access to quality training via [add name of provider]
- provide you with an experienced governor as mentor
- provide informal feedback on your contribution to the governing body on a bi-annual basis
If you would like to find out more about how you can contribute to governance at our school, please email me with your contact details and I will pass on your details to the chair who will then arrange a time for a conversation.
Clerk to the Governing Body
[Insert email address]