I was voted in as a parent governor at my children's secondary school three years ago for a four-year term. Would I recommend it to any parent? I certainly would, and here are my reasons why.
- My kids were reluctantly proud that their mum was voted in. They also thought that I had some power at school, which has suddenly helped focus their homework efforts...
- You get a perspective of school that you would never get otherwise. You find out just how long and hard the teachers work, not to mention the constant change that schools are expected to deal with.
- You will have regular opportunities to challenge the school's performance, ensuring in the process that every child gets the best educational experience possible.
- You will learn new skills and things about yourself, which you can use across the other areas of your life.
Of course, despite these benefits, it is not easy being a parent governor. It takes time to attend the meetings, governor training, read the papers and keep up to date with what's happening in education.
It's worth it, though, even if only to see the passion of all the staff involved in delivering our children's education and the difference they make to individual pupils. And you get to see those individual pupils achieve their potential in their exams. get the opportunity to attend a field trip when they have never been on holiday before, or just engage with other children and enjoying learning – all the while knowing that, in some small way, you have been able to contribute to their progress.