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Being a school governor is often misunderstood, usually about what we do, what being a governor involves, and how much time it takes. I would stress that we are not educational specialists and we are not required to have an in-depth knowledge of how the British education system works. What we do need is common sense, and a desire to work together in the best interests of all the children.
Governors are volunteers who work together with the head teacher of the school and the Local Education Authority to improve the quality of education in our school; we also have to ensure that the school fulfils certain legal requirements. The governing body works as a team; individually governors have no powers or legal responsibility.
We make strategic decisions about setting the schools aims and policies, raising standards of achievement, making sure the money is spent wisely, improving the school environment, making sure all pupils receive rights to all education opportunities.
To do this we have to know our school, we do this in a variety of ways, and we support school activities, visit the school on behalf of the governing body, and promote their school in the community.
We also appoint the senior staff that are the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and Assistant Head Teachers.
We meet least once a term in the evenings, usually twice in the autumn term. We have committees to deal with important issues such as finance and the raising standards. These meet separately from governing body meetings, it is expected that all governors get involved on at least one committee, on average meetings last between 2 and 3 hours.
Before the meeting, governors receive an agenda and papers setting out information about the items to be discussed. It is expected that all governors will have read and thought about the issues before the meeting.
To deepen our knowledge of the school we set up visits to see initiatives in action, this enables us to make decisions based on first-hand knowledge. These visits are of course during school time.
All of the above cannot be achieved without training; this can be on-line, in person at a centre, or sometimes arranged in school. Training topics are wide and varied on all aspects you need to be a Governor.
Our school has a governing body, which includes:
I am often asked what I get out of it; we obtain life skills that can be used in our careers. We are unpaid and do the work for the improvement of the whole school. We strive to be a critical friend to the school, questioning why we do things, and what impact what we do have on the school. We get the satisfaction of knowing we are helping to make a difference in our children’s education.
Do you wish to be a governor? If you do, contact us via the school.
Chair of Governors
Who are the school governors?
Avenue Primary School has 13 Governors bringing a range of experience to help our School achieve its vision. Although they are volunteers, they are professional, committed and passionate about what they do.