Case study 27

You are a parent governor at a primary school. There is a new chair and headteacher at the school who have introduced a link governor system so that the governing body are more aware of what happens in school. You have been appointed as the link governor for literacy as you have some knowledge in this area. You recently attended your first visit to the school and met with the teacher responsible to look at the literacy framework, the resources used in the class, progress against targets in the School Development Plan etc. You sensed that the teacher was uneasy with you being in class and the teacher commented that as a governor you were not qualified to judge the pupil progress. You have since found out that the headteacher had not spoken to the staff regarding the role of the link governor.

One of the key roles of the governing body is to monitor the progress and performance at the school. The link governor can play a significant role in developing the effectiveness of the governing body in their strategic role, and in raising school standards.

It is a shame that the headteacher did not speak to the school staff regarding link governors and the benefits. Visits to school enable link governors to:

  • see the school at work;
  • observe the range of attitudes, behaviour and achievements of pupils;
  • get to know the staff and work in partnership with the staff;
  • demonstrate their commitment to the school;
  • give active support to the staff and activities in the school;
  • be aware of the effect of change and different approaches to teaching and learning;
  • evaluate resources and discuss with staff any further requirements;
  • gain first-hand information to assist with policy making and decision taking.

This should have been made clear to the school staff prior to the first round of link governors visits.
Our advice would be for the headteacher to schedule a meeting with the staff to explain the above, that link governors visit schools to learn, not judge, and hopefully this may prepare the staff for the next round of visits.

We have produced a number of documents that list the roles and responsibilities of different link governors, as well as templates for link governors to report back to the governing body.
Click here