New role, new commitment – Governance

I officially did my first duty as a new governor yesterday.

I joined the governing body of a local junior school recently for various reasons. I want to embrace as many aspects of leadership as possible over the next couple of years, being a governor was one of them. I wanted to look from the outside in, so not be a governor in my school. I want to understand how other schools are run, what is effective and different, what isn’t.

So I was welcomed warmly, if slightly tentatively at first (teaching at a rival school!), a few weeks ago. The school has, as have many in Norfolk, been placed in category 3 by their most recent Ofsted. The governors decided to do an audit on one of the issues, behaviour and behaviour for learning.

So I turned up in my PPA time, they were expecting me. Well most of them were. I was handed a clipboard and some paper to write down my thoughts on aspects of behaviour and safety, in classes, corridors and on the playground. I was looking at routines, learning behaviours and bullying.

I am not going to go into details of the tour, but I learnt alot. As a teacher it is fantastic experience to go and see how other schools run their daily routines. To be given an open ticket for popping in and out of classrooms and being warmly greeted by all the staff (almost all!) and all of the children is a brilliant and trusting opportunity. Aspects of the school were shaky and aspects were outstanding, and the best bit is, I can pick and choose what I take from it personally, but also in my report to the Headteacher can hopefully support the school from an outsider’s perspective.

I wasn’t sure what this governor business would be like, but I can see the positive experiences for me already, hope the school feel the same way about me joining them.

By the way, I said a couple of times ‘almost all staff’ were welcoming. I think one member was particularly unnerved when I sat next to the only boy in the school who has been excluded – twice! He had nothing to worry about, young ‘Jimmy’ was a delight, talked to me very politely and even found me his target book and told me what his next steps for learning were. The only child who could! House point for you Jimmy!

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