What Do Governors Do?

Date: 15th Jun 2017 @ 12:41pm

Hello! I’ve been a governor for a few months now.  Before I started all this I wasn’t really that sure what governors actually do so I thought I’d do some blog posts in case anyone would like to know more. 
 
There’s a lot to learn and I’m still only at the very tip of the iceberg. Here’s a bit of what I’ve found out so far..
 
Every half term there are 3 official meetings – Staffing and Budget, Curriculum and Full Governing Body. I’ve been going to all of them at the moment while I find my feet but usually you only go to S+B or Curriculum. 
 
At the Staffing and Budget meetings we mainly talk about money and staff (no surprises there). But also things to do with the building, like the new refurbishments to the staff toilets and roof and health and safety.  The staff issues are mainly things like people going on and returning from maternity leave and how that will be accommodated, new staff arriving and others leaving.  Anne Smyth (in the office) is the School’s manager and every meeting she gives a breakdown of school spending and how that relates to the budget.  Dave Cooke is the Vice Chair of Governors and he gives forecasts of the school’s budget in year’s to come. 
 
The three curriculum meetings I’ve been to so far have started off with presentations by members of staff about their curriculum subjects. Firstly Nell McNeil gave an interesting talk about training she has been doing about ways of enhancing Science teaching.  The course is spread over a number of weeks and gives teachers advice and tools to make science in schools more fun and engaging.  She passes this information on to the rest of the teachers in school and helps them get the most from these lessons.  The second meeting had a great presentation from Sian Osbourne about the work she has been doing with music in the school and her aspirations for the future.  Thirdly we had a presentation from Mrs Hughes about the Early Years provision including how the school makes sure that the child is the centre of everything we do.  The curriculum meeting is also where school policies are discussed before going to the full meeting.  Most of them need to be reviewed every year and Karen Houghton and the subject coordinators have been doing a fantastic job of making sure they are all up to date and relevant.  There are lot! If you’d like to read them, most of them are on the school website with more to come.
 
Making sure that all children are getting the right opportunity to learn and enjoy school is a big part of what goes on.  As part of this a lot of data is collected.  Governors don’t see individual’s data but we do look at groups, for example, how does the achievement of girls compare to boys in various subjects, and how does this compare to national averages.  Doing this helps the school identify areas to focus on.  Governors had a training session on what to look for given by David Jackson who advises on planning and development. I must say that I have also been very impressed at how often the subject of the pupil’s experience comes up. There is an awful lot of stuff to do and boxes to tick but almost every time the subject comes round to how any decisions will effect the children’s enjoyment of learning and school.  As a parent, I’ve been very pleased and encouraged that children enjoying school is always such a high priority. 
 
You’ve probably had enough of reading about this for now.  I’ll leave the excitement of Health and Safety audits for next time – bet you can’t wait!
 
Kate.

Alma Park Primary School

Errwood Road

Levenshulme, Manchester M19 2PF

T: 0161 224 8789

E: admin@almapark.manchester.sch.uk