• Abbey College, Abbey Road, Hollow Lane, Ramsey Cambridgeshire PE26 1DG

The Governing Body of Abbey College currently has two parent governor vacancies and is now seeking self-nominations for these posts.

Being part of the Governing Body is rewarding and gives you the opportunity to get your voice heard and use your opinions to make real change in the school. As a governor, you will make a vital difference to the education and future of the children in Ramsey and its surrounding areas.

As you will be aware, Abbey College was recently judged to be ‘Good’ by Ofsted. The report praised the contributions of our governors and their role in helping to establish a culture of high expectations and aspirations for our students. You could become part of this successful Governing Body and help us on our new journey to become an ‘Outstanding’ school and to provide an outstanding education for the children in our care.

Joining the Governing Body will also mean you will have the opportunity to network and make new friends, while developing new skills and undergoing free training. Many employers are very supportive of their staff members becoming governors and value the experience gained from holding a position as a governor so it is also a good thing to be able to add to your CV.

How do I nominate myself?

If you would like to put your name forward, you should complete the self-nomination and declaration of eligibility forms which can be downloaded from this page.  You should also submit a short personal statement about yourself of no more than 200 words.  This will be circulated to all parents in the event of an election. 

All forms and statements should be returned to the school reception in a sealed envelope by 3.00pm on Thursday 24 May.  In due course, we will then inform parents of the outcomes from the nomination process.

If there are more nominations than vacancies, a ballot will be necessary and a Notice of Poll will be issued.  We will send ballot forms home via parent mail with the names of the candidates and their personal statements. Each parent will have two votes as there are two vacancies.  Further details of the voting arrangements and the return of ballot papers will be provided at this time. 

A copy of the rules guiding the election of parent governors can be obtained from the school reception.  If you require a copy of this letter in a language other than English or in large print format please contact the school.

Frequently Asked Questions about being a parent governor

What are parent governors? 

Parent governors are elected by other parents and are vital to our Governing Body due to their knowledge of the local area and the feelings of other parents and community members.  They are on the Governing Body as representative parents but they are not delegates and other parents cannot mandate them on how they should vote.

What do governors do?

Governors do not run the school day-to-day but are responsible for performance, planning, finance and ensuring that the school provides the best education it can for students, parents and the local community.  All governors are also Trustees and Non-executive Directors of the Academy and are registered as such with Companies House.

How much time will it take?

Being a governor does require a time commitment both in the evening and on occasion, during the school day.  There are four Governing Body meetings each year and governors also serve on at least one committee which meet a further five times a year. Meetings are held on a Tuesday evening starting at 5.30pm.  In addition, governors may be expected to participate in various evaluation exercises during the school day and attend other College events such as student forums and parent evenings.

Many school governors, however, are in full-time work. Many employers actually encourage their staff to become school governors.  They realise that the skills gained through being a school governor are transferable to the workplace. Employment law gives people the right to reasonable unpaid time off and some employers give paid leave for school governor duties.

I work full time. What if my employer won't give me time off?

Many employers actually encourage their staff to become school governors.  They realise that the skills gained through being a school governor are transferable to the workplace. Employment law gives people the right to reasonable unpaid time off and some employers give paid leave for school governor duties.

Who can be a parent governor?

All those who have parental responsibility and are over the age of 18 are eligible to stand for election, including parents who work at the school provided that they work for less than 500 hours per year when they are elected.  A parent who works for the school for 500 hours or more or a parent who is an elected member of the local authority (County Councillor) is not eligible to stand for election but they are permitted to vote in the election. If insufficient parents stand for election the governing body can appoint nominated parents to the Governing Body.

There are some circumstances that disqualify an individual from serving as a school governor and you will be asked to complete a “self-declaration of eligibility” form to state that there are no reasons for which you would be disqualified.  We also conduct a DBS (formally CRB) check on all appointed governors.

Do I need qualifications to be a school governor?

Governors do not need any specific qualifications as we need volunteers with a variety of life experiences. However, whilst you do not need qualifications to be a governor, the following are important:

  • A commitment to undertake mandatory new governor training and other supplementary training that may be identified in order to update knowledge and skills
  • A commitment to regular attendance at meetings of the governing body and any committees to which you are appointed
  • A desire to raise the standards of education within the school
  • A willingness to share skills and expertise within the context of the governing body

What makes a good governor?

You would make a great school governor if you:

  • care about improving children's education
  • want to contribute to your local community
  • want to work as part of a team and can value the contribution made by other people
  • accept the need to receive training
  • are willing to ask questions
  • are open to ideas and willing to learn

What can I offer?

You may wonder what you can offer to the school. Our parent governors are crucial to the Governing body as they offer us:

  • Enthusiasm and commitment to making the school an even better place for children to learn
  • Knowledge of the feelings of those in the local area - you will have a feel for what is important to people in the area and other parents at the school
  • A critical perspective from which we can improve the school

How does a governing body work?

The governing body is not responsible for day-to-day running of the school but are responsible for performance, planning, finance and ensuring that the school provides the best education it can for its students, parents and the local community. The governing body do this by:

  • Meeting once a term
  • Working closely with the headteacher
  • Making decisions democratically as a team
  • Delegating decision-making to committees or to individuals such as the headteacher
  • Conducting most of its business through meetings, making use of relevant papers, guidance and advice from the headteacher and the Local Authority

How much time does it take?

The amount of time that governors can give to the role will vary, but if you are serious about helping your school to help children, then you do need to:

  • Be willing to prepare for meetings
  • Attend meetings - the governing body must meet at least once per term, however you will probably be asked to serve on at least one committee. How often these meet will vary, but it is not unusual for some committees to meet each half-term
  • Be able to get to meetings which, quite often, will be during the evening but which may be earlier in the day
  • Participate - if you cannot prepare for, and attend, meetings you will not be able to make an effective contribution to help the school

Can I expect to receive any help and support?

Yes.  The local authority values school governors as important partners in the education community and so ensures a comprehensive package of support is available. The Local Authority runs an induction course for new governors that cover the main areas of a governing body's responsibilities.

Training is an integral part of the development of every governor and this is organised and delivered through an annual training programme facilitated by specialist staff called upon as appropriate because of their particular expertise - Governor training and development.

The governing body is also a team and governors will support each other to be the best governing body they can be.

Governor Support