Election of a Parent Governor
We are writing to let you know that there is to be an election for two Parent Governors.
The Governing Body is currently made up of 10 Governors of which two are elected by parents. There are currently two Parent Governor places to be filled and the positions are Federation posts and are not specific to one particular school. The term "parent" includes anyone who has custody of a child currently registered at Caedmon College Whitby or Eskdale School, as well as "natural" parents. Parents can stand for election and vote in secret in the election, if a ballot is needed. As well as parents, the Governing Body is made up of Governors appointed by the Local Authority (the County Council), staff from both schools, the Principal of Caedmon College, the Headteacher of Eskdale School and governors appointed by the rest of the Governing Body (co-opted governors). Parent Governors have a four-year term of office and can continue to serve even if their child or children leave the schools during this period.
What Do Governors Do?
The work of Governors affects most aspects of the schools. Together with the Principal and Headteacher, Governors establish strategic aims of the schools, approve policies - for the curriculum, behaviour and discipline, for example, and are responsible for the budgets and use and maintenance of the premises. More generally, they are expected to be in touch with the local community and to help to guide the schools to meet the community's educational needs. They are also expected to help the schools to explain to the community what they are trying to achieve for young people. A leaflet, providing further information, is available from the Governor Support Unit, County Hall, Northallerton; telephone 01609 532936, or by emailing the Governor Support Unit at County Hall via Governor.Support@northyorks.gov.uk.
The Governors, together as a body, have a range of legal responsibilities, so being a Governor is an important commitment and new Governors should be willing to attend training to help them to learn what is entailed.
Do Parent Governors have Special Responsibilities?
No. Parent Governors do not have "extra" duties. All Governors are equally responsible and discharge their responsibilities as a ‘body’, not individually. Parent Governors speak as parents: they cannot speak for all parents or act as their representative.
Are there any restrictions which could disqualify parents from becoming Parent Governors?
Yes, but they are unlikely to apply to most parents considering becoming a Parent Governor. The restrictions are contained in the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2003, Schedule 6 and subsequent amendment Regulations. A copy of these is attached as a Self- Declaration form. Parents putting themselves forward for election will be required to sign this form and return it with a nomination form. If any of the restrictions apply, you should not proceed with your nomination as a Governor. Also, you are disqualified from election or appointment as a Parent Governor if you are an elected member of the Local Authority (or if you are paid to work at the College for more than 500 hours in any twelve-month period commencing on 1 August and finishing on 31 July).
Governors may be subject to enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) checks and the elected parent will be provided with the requisite form to complete, along with proof of identity (as detailed in the list of Valid Identity Documents). This will then be passed to the CRB Unit at County Hall for checking and forwarding, as required. The term of office of the successful candidate may only commence once a clear enhanced DBS Disclosure has been received, should this be required.
How are Parent Governors Elected?
Parent Governors must be people (aged at least 18) who have a child(ren) at Caedmon College or Eskdale School when they are elected. A nomination form is attached. Each form must be signed by the candidate. Candidates should also make a short statement about themselves – a maximum of 50 words will be allowed and this will be rigidly applied. If more nominations are received than there are places to fill, there will be a secret ballot and we will send to each parent, ballot forms (one per parent). The form explains how votes may be cast.
If the number of nominations received is the same as the number of places to be filled, then those people will be declared elected. If there are fewer, those nominated will be declared elected and it will be for the Governing Body to fill any remaining vacancy by appointing a Parent Governor.
The rules for the election are written down in Procedures set by the Local Authority, and these are available from the schools’ websites.
Result of the Election
The names of those elected will be displayed at both schools for at least seven days and will be stated on the websites and other publications as appropriate. Anyone having any query about the election is invited to contact either one of us or the Chair of Governors, Pen Cruz.
Jon Norden, Principal and Returning Officer
Andy Fyfe, Headteacher and Returning Officer