Silkstone Primary School

helping children realise their gifts and talents

Do you have the skills, dedication and commitment required to serve as a co-opted school governor on our governing body?

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The governing body, school leadership team and staff have a shared vision for the future of Silkstone Primary School – a future that puts children at the heart of all we do, transforms children’s lives and gives them the very best foundations in life as they continue their journey into secondary education.   Our ambition for our school is not limited by achieving an Ofsted outstanding rating, but aims for every aspect of the school experience to be outstanding.  As governors, we are “guardians of the vision” and are proud to serve on the governing body of our very special school.

The role of a school governing body has never been more important – rightly, the government and Ofsted have high expectations of us.  Our role is strategic, not operational, with 3 key aims:

  • Ensuring the clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and ensuring money is well-spent.

In summary, governance is about overseeing the success of the school, not running or managing it – that is the job of paid professionals.  It is about agreeing strategic priorities and monitoring progress towards them.

We already have a strong and effective governing body but are looking to develop and further strengthen our team.   All community schools have been required to reconstitute this year; following our reconstitution which will be completed at our next governing body meeting on 2 July,  the governing body will be looking to co-opt new  governors with the skills, dedication and commitment to contribute to our school, for the new academic year 2015/16.

We are looking for local people with a mix of skills and experience, perhaps developed in managerial or leadership positions.  We are not looking for education specialists, although we do also have a vacancy for a co-opted governor with experience in safeguarding and/or early years foundation stage education.  All governors are expected to undertake training and development and to comply with our governing body code of conduct, including acting in strict confidence and applying Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life.

A governor should expect to volunteer for the equivalent of six to ten days per year, depending on their specific roles; this includes training and development, meetings, preparation for meetings (eg reading papers in advance) and other responsibilities as required (eg as link governor on one of the school’s strategic priorities).    Some of this time will be during the day, but much will be in the evenings – for example we hold full governing body meetings each half-term on Thursday evenings at 6pm.

You can find out more about governance at our school in the governance section of our website (under About Us/Governance).  In addition, more general information about school governance can be found at:

  • inspiringgovernors.org – an alliance working together to improve school governance;
  • nga.org.uk – the National Governors’ Association is an independent charity supporting and promoting outstanding governance to improve educational standards and well-being of children and young people; and
  • barnsleyga.org – the Barnsley Governors’ Association is committed to raising attainment, achievement and aspiration for all school students in Barnsley.

If you are potentially interested in putting yourself forward for the governing body to consider co-opting you as a school governor, or would just like an initial chat, please get in touch with me, on a confidential, no obligation basis, on 0784 1929835 or p.hinchliffe@harrisaccounts.co.uk.

I look forward to hearing from you.

This article will also appear in the Summer edition of the Silkstone Parish Newsletter which will be delivered to all households in Silkstone and Silkstone Common over the next couple of weeks.

Paul Hinchliffe

Chair of governors, Silkstone Primary School

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