Monday, March 20, 2023

Thurrock headteachers come to defence of under-threat parent governors

THURROCK headteachers have come to the defence of their under-threat parent governors.

Under proposals by the Conservative government, parent governors would be scrapped and the focus will be on recruiting ‘skilled’ people, such as those with expertise in finance, law and project management, or with a background in education themselves.

So YT spoke to a number of Thurrock headteachers and asked what they thought of the role of their parent governors.

Chief exec of the Gateway Learning Community, Kevin Sadler said: "The GLC is very fortunate in having some amazing parent governors who contribute to the governance and strategic direction of our schools and the organization as a whole. You may be aware the Herringham local governing body received a Thurrock Education Award for excellence this year.

Parent governors are there to represent all parents and carers so that their voice and opinions are heard. Our parents also bring a range of skills [such as finance, legal and personnel] which inform and support the work of governors.

You will be aware from previous conversations that the GLC aims to improve the community through the education it offers, we need as many parents on board if we are to achieve this.

Headteacher of Benyon primary school, Natalie Sansom said: "I believe that parent governors make a vital contribution to governing bodies, ensuring that the voice of the local community is heard when strategic decisions are made about the future development of the school.

"Parent governors have a vested interest in proactively supporting, and challenging, school leaders to ensure that pupils receive the best possible education. Parents bring a wide variety of relevant skills, knowledge and experience to the governing body which I feel would be greatly missed if the position of parent governor ceases to exist.

Headteacher of Thameside primary school, Christina Pumphrey said: "I think that parent governors do offer a unique perspective and provide a view which wouldn’t otherwise be offered at a governing body meeting.

"I do know that some school struggle to recruit parent govs so vacancies can be high among this group. Also, the preparedness of some parent govs might be an issue.

"I’m not referring my my GB though.

"I think the bigger question is how can local school accountability be made more effective? Not who will we sack?!?"


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