Hello and welcome to the first governor blog of the Raglan 2019-20 school year – or any Raglan school year, for that matter. And hopefully not the last. 

So why a governor blog? At our recent board meeting, it was suggested that parents might want to hear more about the role of the governing body and what really happens “behind the scenes” at Raglan. Being a parent governor who has done a bit of writing, I was nominated to create a blog about it. 

So here is the first. I hope it is interesting, informative, or both.

The blog will try not to bore you with the finer detail. But it will map out what the school and nursery are doing to develop a positive, progressive environment for our children and community. And shed some light for those who, like me previously, don’t perhaps know what a governing body actually gets up to.   

I have been a governor for about a year. At first, I wasn’t entirely sure what the role entailed. I part expected to be discussing school uniform or who would be DJing at the Spooky Disco. Another part expected long, detailed Ofsted briefings.

The truth is somewhere in between. 

The governing board is made up of four staff members (Ms Margetts, Ms Woods, Mrs Dumper and Ms Ezinwa), four community local governors and two elected parent governors (more on that later). We meet six times a year to cover two alternating themes: finance (school budget, essentially) and data (performance). 

Within these, the board monitors, discusses and approves everything that goes on at Raglan. School plans, policy, procedure, performance, priorities (lots of P’s), staffing, values, infrastructure… the list goes on. Meetings are extensive. But they ensure that, whatever the challenge or opportunity, the school is doing what is best for its community, and primarily its children.

I am the governor lead on safeguarding, for the safety of those in and around the educational environment. Government policy creates the framework around how every school protects its pupils, but it down to the staff, governing body and board of trustees of ours to make sure that this happens successfully in practise. I recently visited Raglan to undertake the annual governing body assessment of its safeguarding practices. This also involves monitoring the Single Central Register (SCR) – a database of staff and regular visitors, which ensures any professional or volunteer who enters school has been subjected to the required checks. 

Our governors have responsibilities for supporting and monitoring various aspects of the school’s responsibilities and management, be it the finance distribution or promoting SEND opportunities and inclusivity. This ensures the school is held accountable for each area, and flags any issues. 

There are also opportunities to influence the school’s Development Plan by offering professional skills or experiences that may benefit. Last week, I attended the first of what will surely be many meetings of the school’s new Digital Council. Deputy Head Ms Wood is leading a team of staff and Year 5 and 6 pupils to build an educational infrastructure worthy of the Digital 360 certificate. The council will create an environment where children feel safer online, understand acceptable behaviour and operate in a secure digital space. We will also explore how our families can enjoy positive connected relationships. I will let you know more as the project develops.

Finally, we are really pleased to see the appointment of a new parent governor, Tosin Bowen-Wright. It is important that the parent voice is heard. Not only do we have a vested interest in the success of the school but we are, at the end of the day, the ‘customers’. We see and we hear. From our children, from our children’s friends and from fellow parents. Feedback and alternate perspectives are crucial in running any or any large organisation successfully. Parents are key stakeholders in the school’s progress and having two parents on the governing body is one of the ways to achieve this.