Fresh appeal for school governors

Independent councillor Cath Hill
Independent councillor Cath Hill

AN appeal has gone out for more people to consider putting their names down to become school governors.

Officials have made the appeal because Hartlepool Borough Council currently has a number of vacancies for governors at primary schools in town.

The issue was raised recently at a meeting of the council’s children’s and community services portfolio.

Independent councillor Cath Hill, who is the portfolio holder, approved four recommendations from the general purposes committee for governors to serve on school governing bodies.

But it still leaves vacancies at a number of schools including Springwell, Fens, Golden Flatts, Jesmond Gardens, Lynnfield and Rossmere Primary School.

Coun Hill was also critical of proposals by Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to pay governors of struggling schools, a move the portfolio holder described as “divisive”.

Coun Hill added: “That is money that should be spent on the children.”

A report to the meeting by Ann Turner, the council’s governor support officer, said: “Applications are invited from members of the general public, elected members and those governors whose term of office is about to expire or have expired who are interested in serving or wish to continue serving as a local authority representative governor on school governing bodies.”

Labour councillor Chris Simmons also attended the portfolio meeting and he said: “It is a big and serious commitment.

“All we can do is get the message out there and hope that people take up the challenge.”

Anyone interested in becoming a local authority governor should be able to show:

l An interest in and commitment to education.

l A desire to support the school concerned.

l A commitment to attend regular meetings of the governing body and school functions.

People should also be able to work as part of a team, have good communication skills and clearly show a willingness to take part in the governor training programme.

Council bosses say school governors, who come from many different walks of life, are part of the largest volunteer group in the country.

Often they are living and working in the community and officers say they have an important role in helping to make sure that every child and young person achieves their true potential.

To find out more about vacancies for school governors within Hartlepool call (01429) 523766 or email ann.turner@hartlepool.gov.uk