3. What happens at governors meetings?
Governing bodies differ; some have formal meetings others are less formal. There is nearly always an agenda and papers for discussion are circulated in advance. The governing body elects someone to Chair the meetings and he or she has the responsibility for making the meetings run smoothly and effectively.
The Headteacher provides a report about the school and other governors may provide reports about the discussions in working parties or committees. Some meetings can finish in an hour, but most last up to two hours longer. It is up to the governing body to decide how many meetings are held and how long they last.
Governing bodies are responsible for the strategic direction and financial health of the school, the employment of the Headteacher, senior school staff and the framework for the employment of other school staff. They have the strategic responsibility for the general conduct of the school, what is taught and standards of achievement in school, the school buildings and the environment, the health, safety and welfare of pupils and staff and the information parents receive about the school.
When you are busy discussing all these important matters you need to remind yourself that children are at the centre of everything that you discuss.
Governing bodies will also benefit from governors who have really strong skills in areas such as data analysis, understanding financial accounts, managing staff and dealing with legal matters.
As a volunteer, the role can be very worthwhile and enjoyable, but at times difficult and testing of your drive and commitment to drive forward improvements for the children and young people at the school.