The Education Service

Governing Bodies: Role of the Elected Parent Governor: Guidance (August 1999)

Parents of pupils attending the school may elect one or more of their number to serve as a school governor. The precise number will be prescribed in the Instrument of Government. Elected parent governors, like elected teacher governors, are full members of the governing body. With the foundation governors appointed by the Bishop, representative governors, and the headteacher, they form the school's governing body which has responsibility for many issues including setting the aims of the school and ensuring that its identity as a Catholic School is sustained in every area of its life and underpins its curriculum planning. Within this framework of Catholic Education, follows responsibility for Religious Education, National Curriculum, managing the delegated budget, appointing teaching and non-teaching staff. Fuller details of governors responsibilities are given in 'School Governors: A Guide to the Law' available free of charge from the DFE.

At the time of election, the elected parent governor must have a child on the roll of the school and may continue as a governor even if the child leaves the school before the completion of the four-year term of office. Although elected by the parent body, the parent governor is not mandated to represent their views at meetings and should be alert to the importance of advising parents to contact the headteacher directly in those issues for which he/she has professional responsibility. Like all governors the elected parent governor brings his/her own perspective and experience to the governing body, and in company with fellow governors must aim to offer the school the following:

i. an understanding and promotion of the Catholic School's Aims and Identity.

ii. time to prepare for and attend governors meetings and other school events.

iii. a concern for the whole school and its role in the parish and local community.

iv. willingness to learn about developments in education from the headteacher and staff and by attendance at Diocesan and local authority training for governors.

v. an understanding of the governing body's relationship with the head teacher.

vi. willingness to be a good team member, working harmoniously with fellow governors and school staff.

vii. an ability to maintain confidentiality in many areas of governors' work.

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