Don't be a coronation chicken

Governors should not shun the Golden Jubilee, writes Jane Martin.

ARE you geared up for the Golden Jubilee? Schools are being encouraged to celebrate the Queen's 50 years on the throne and the celebrations are focused on six central themes: celebration; giving thanks; service; looking forward as well as back; and the Commonwealth.

The Department for Education and Skills is suggesting schools focus on the themes of community and service, which can be linked to citizenship, and will be sponsoring events across the country. As citizenship comes on stream in the national curriculum in September, this is a useful opportunity to kick off with events in school.

There is an educational package sponsored by the DFES and other partners which focuses on the spirit of friendship festival associated with the Commonwealth games in July.

Schools might also like to get involved in the national poetry competition led by the poet laureate. The annual international maths olympiad for secondary pupils, also being held in July, would provide another focal point. Also, for secondary schools, the millennium volunteers have several projects and are encouraging a jubilee focus.

For schools which also offer adult education, the national training awards include a Golden Jubilee category to recognise training that serves the community.

Jubilee celebrations are an ideal opportunity for governors to become involved - after all, being a governor is all about service to the community.

Why not think about ways in which the governing body could become involved to share and promote the role of governors? If governors in your school have not had much opportunity to work directly with pupils, this would be one way to do so. Some of the tried and tested ideas, such as pairing a governor with a class or year group, might be appropriate, or perhaps a presentation to an assembly about your role and how you participate.

A governing body stand at public events would open up access to parents as well as pupils. If your school is publicising any jubilee materials, make sure there is a governor contribution. Why not invite some pupils to a governing body meeting?

It is likely that a member of staff is co-ordinating your school's approach or there might be a working party taking plans forward. Governor involvement in this would also be a good opportunity to work more closely together.

More information on the Golden Jubilee is available on the DFES website (www.dfes.gov.uk), the official Golden Jubilee website (www.goldenjubilee.gov.uk) and the British monarchy website (www.royal.gov.uk)

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