HELMSLEY CP SCHOOL
SINNINGTON CP SCHOOL
There is to be an election of Parent Governors.
Following the consultation period and the subsequent decision by each board of governors to become part of the Ryedale Federation, you will be aware that there is to be a change in governance arrangements.
There will now be one Governing Board with responsibility for all schools within the Federation and the opportunity for you to consider taking up a place on the board as a Parent Governor.
The Federation’s governing board will consist of 14 governors, made up of the following:
4 Parents (1 to be elected from each school, to be elected by the parents)
1 local authority governor
1 staff governor
4 headteachers (1 from each federated school)
4 co-opted governors
The term “parent” includes anyone who has custody of a child registered at the school, as well as “natural” parents. Parents can stand for election and vote in secret in the election, if a ballot is needed.
Parent Governors have a four year term of office (unless agreed otherwise by the Governing Board) and continue to serve even if their child(ren) leaves the school during this period.
What Do Governors Do?
The role of a governor can be very rewarding but also challenging as governors’ work affects most aspects of school life.
The governors, together as a body, have a range of legal responsibilities, so being a governor is an important commitment and new governors should be willing to attend training to help them learn what is entailed. For more details of governors’ responsibilities please see the DFE website and download the Governors’ Handbook. Please also see below the National Governors’ Association ‘Code of Conduct’ for Governing Boards which will be adopted by the new Governing Board.
Once appointed or elected, all governors must operate in the best interest of pupils, not as representatives to lobby on behalf of their constituency. Their task is to corporately govern the Federation. This means focusing on the core functions of providing strategic leadership, holding the headteacher to account and making sure the school’s money is well spent. This is a demanding task for which all governors need to have, or develop, relevant and appropriate skills.
Governors are expected to be in touch with the local community and to help guide the Federation schools to meet the community’s educational needs. They are also expected to help the Federation schools explain to the community what the Federation is trying to achieve for their children.
Membership of the Governing Board requires a focus on a range of skills, experience and interests. This could include:
– Leadership experience in education, governance or another sector
– Communication with a variety of audiences
– Innovation, research
– School financial management
– Personnel management
– Special educational needs
– Buildings and maintenance
– Health and safety
– Literacy, maths or other curriculum interests
What is the role of a Governing Board?
Establishing the strategic direction, by:
– Setting the vision, values, and objectives for the school
– Agreeing the school improvement strategy with priorities and targets
– Meeting statutory duties
Ensuring accountability, by:
– Monitoring progress towards targets
– Carrying out the Performance Management of the Executive Headteacher
– Engaging with stakeholders e.g. parents, staff and the wider school community
– Contributing to school self-evaluation
Ensuring financial probity, by:
– Setting the budget
– Monitoring spending against the budget
– Ensuring value for money is obtained
– Ensuring risks to the organisation are managed
The governors, together as a board, have a range of legal responsibilities. Being a governor is an important commitment and the Local Authority and school will provide induction training.
What is expected of governors?
– To acknowledge that accepting office as a governor involves the commitment of significant amounts of time and energy.
– To strive to work as a team in which constructive working relationships are actively promoted.
– To observe complete confidentiality when matters are deemed confidential or where they concern specific members of staff or pupils, both inside or outside school
– To accept collective responsibility for all decisions made by the board or its delegated agents. This means that we will not speak against majority decisions outside the Governing Board meeting.
Do Parent Governors have Special Responsibilities?
No. Parent Governors do not have “extra” duties. All governors are equally responsible and discharge their responsibilities as a body, not individually. The Parent Governors speak as parents: they can’t speak for all parents.
Are there any restrictions which could disqualify parents from becoming Parent Governors?
Yes, but they are unlikely to apply to most parents considering becoming a parent governor. The restrictions are contained in the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012, regulation 16 and subsequent amendment Regulations. A copy of these is attached as a Self -Declaration form. Parents putting themselves forward for election will be required to sign this form and return it with a nomination form. If any of the restrictions apply you should not proceed with your nomination as a governor. Also, you are disqualified from election or appointment as a parent governor if you are an elected member of the local authority (-or if you are paid to work at the school for more than 500 hours in any twelve month period commencing on 1 August and finishing on 31 July).
Governors are subject to enhanced DBS checks and the elected parent will be provided, by the school with the requisite form to complete and take to the headteacher along with proof of identity (as detailed in the list of Valid Identity Documents). The headteacher will then pass the completed form to the DBS Unit at County Hall for checking and forwarding to the DBS, Liverpool. The term of office of the successful candidate (s) will only commence once a clear enhanced DBS Disclosure has been received by the school. It is recommended that you discuss this with the school if you have any concerns over issues which may be highlighted by the Enhanced DBS as they may not exclude you from acting as a Parent Governor.
How are Parent Governors Elected?
A link to the nomination form can be found below. Each form must be signed by the candidate and be supported by a short statement about themselves – a simple form for this purpose is provided with the nomination form and must be of no more than 250 words in total. Candidates should outline their range of skills and how they could benefit the Governing Board.
If more nominations are received than there are places to fill, there will be a secret ballot and I will send to each parent, ballot forms (1 per parent) and envelopes for their return. The form explains how votes may be cast.
If the number of nominations received is the same as the number of places to be filled, then those people will be declared elected. If there are fewer, those nominated will be declared elected and it will be for the governing body to fill any remaining vacancy by appointing a parent governor.
The rules for the election are written down in Procedures set by the Local Authority, and these can be inspected at the school.
Result of the Election
The names of those elected will be displayed at the school for at least seven days and will be included in the next edition of the school newsletter and published on the school website.
Anyone having any query about the election is invited to contact the school.
Headteacher and Returning Officer
THE CLOSING DATE FOR NOMINATION AND SUPPORTING STATEMENT IS THURSDAY 28TH APRIL 2016
PG-Nomination Paper & Statement in Support of Election (PDF Download)
Eligibility Declaration (PDF Download)
NGA Code of Conduct (PDF Download)