Monday, September 15, 2003
As the chair of governors at our school I can't emphasize the importance of training. Becoming a school governor can be a daunting challenge and many people wonder what they've let themselves in for after the first couple of meetings. It's not just all the complexities of running a busy school, but also all the regulations, procedures and legislature. No school expects its governors to be experts in complex area such as finance but it does expect its governors to be accountable as governors are the representatives of parents and other stakeholders in the school. Training can help new governors quickly get up to speed on the details of running a school and can also help established governors keep up to date. More importantly training sessions are a great way of meeting other governors and finding out that everyone was as scared a you at their first meeting!
If you are a Sandwell governor the latest training programme should have been posted to you. If you've not yet received a copy there are details on the Sandwell governor's web site. Another good source of training information as well as a great place to meet other governors online is GovernorNet.
For two years running our governing body had the AGM and produced a report for parents during the Autumn term. This never made much sense to me. Why? Because the Autumn term is when new governors are elected and often the chair can change. If this is the case, where is the sense of ownership in the annual report? The new governing body can often find itself justifying the outgoing governing body's report.
For the academic year that ended in July our governing body agreed to produce the report and hold the AGM during the last week of the summer term. That way the end of the academic year was drawn nicely to a close and governors felt a sense of ownership for their report. More importantly parents could ask questions of the present governing body. I think this worked well for us so we'll be sticking to it again this year.