Last night was our annual general meeting (AGM) with parents. Every year the governing body is expected to produce a report of its activities and present this report to parents. This is a key element of the three roles of a governing body:
- To provide a strategic view
- To act as a critical friend
- To ensure accountability
More about these roles in a later piece. But last night was out main accountability event.
The key to a successful AGM is to strike a balance been formality and informality. It's a necessarily formal affair because apart from being a constitutional responsibility of the governing body it's also the main opportunity to set out what the elected governors have done for the school on behalf of the parents. But past experience has shown that anything that's too formal tends to keep parents away. Not everyone likes attending committee meetings.
This year I thought I'd adopt an informal agenda that introduced what being a governor was all about (we're constantly on the look out for recruitment opportunities as it's vital to get parents engaged in the management of the school) as well as provide a forum for discussion around the report itself.
- Introduction to members of the Governing Body
- What does the Governing Body do for the School?
- About the Annual Parents Meeting
- The Governors Report to Parents
- Questions from Parents about the School, the Governing Body or the Annual Report to Parents
Clearly the success of the AGM is ultimately down to the engagement of parents but it pays to be well prepared. This year we combined the AGM with a viewing of the fabulous video that the year 6 children have been working on to promote the school. The video really was very good and some day I hope we can make it available through the web. This combined with wine and food ensured we had a reasonable turn out. Next year we'll definitely try to combine the AGM with another event that'll draw in the parents.
Whatever you do for your AGM I hope you find it rewarding and that everyone gets something out of it. I found the following web sites to be really useful when preparing for our AGM:
- DFES Annual Parents' Meeting
- DFES Consultation on Annual Parents' Meetings
- DFES Annual Parents' Meeting Consultation – Summary of Responses
DFES = UK government's Department for Education and Skills
Let me know how your governor's AGM went.