Friday, 4 February 2011

Advice from a School Governor

In my search on the internet for useful School Governor information to share I came across this advice entitled 'My Final Blog' by a School Governor called Libby on the website.

Advice from a School Governor

1) Governors SHOULD ask questions about the budget - look in particular at where numbers are very different to previous years. Ask why numbers have gone up or down.

2) This is important, and is difficult to describe without a budget plan in front of you. However, I'll try! In the left hand column of the plan, there is a list of letters and numbers - the important ones are I (Income) and E (Expenses). Now, the key thing to look for is this... Add up I1, I2, I3, I4 and I5 (this is your main income) then divide them by E1+E2+E3+E4+E5+E6+E7 (these are your staffing costs) and you will get a percentage. This is the percentage of your school's money that is being spent on staffing. This percentage should be around 85%. That is healthy. However, if it is 90% or more, then your school is in grave danger of going into deficit. Told you it was complicated, but it will become clear if you have your budget plan in front of you and it is really good advice.

Anyway, that's it. The sum of my knowledge of money.

I am now in my third year as a governor and feel that I now really understand the school and am able to make a valuable contribution. So far, it has been a great learning experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone who may be considering becoming a school governor. If you are - here are things you need to know:

1) Don't be afraid to ask questions - if you aren't sure, chances are at least 10 people will be as confused as you are.

2) Go on training. You won't just pick things up as you go.

3) Commit fully - visit the school. Offer to help (particularly if you are a School governor at a small school)

4) Get the most out of it for yourself - go to the performances, the assemblies etc. Get to know the school - that's the best bit - in comparison the meetings are dryness itself!

5) NEVER forget the following: EVERYTHING YOU DO SHOULD BE IN THE INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN AND THEIR LEARNING AND WELL-BEING. If you remember that, you can't go wrong!

That's all folks!

Very sound common sense advice! The original blog article from Libby can be found here

About the author: Former teacher Libby Reid was a parent governor at a primary school in 2009. She blogged about being a parent, a governor and the two combined!

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