I have been tidying up my folders on my computer (housework avoidance tactic) and couldn’t resist reading through some old governor visit reports (I really am desperate not to get the hoover out, aren’t I?)
Really, some of them are utterly pointless. Despite discussing at meetings that they should concentrate on an aspect of the SDP (in particular on writing skills amongst boys), they still just serve as a big pat on the back for the school. “Oh, what a lovely school we have” “Oh, how sweet the children are” “Gosh, they are so sweet” “Look how the children hold hands on the way to assembly”
One of them was an A4 side on how “lovely” the gardening day was and how this particular governor’s family enjoyed it. It went into great detail about how the men had dug a vegetable patch, while she had cleared some weeds and enjoyed chatting with other parents at the same time. Although it didn’t quite descend into the realms of ice cold lemonade and cucumber sandwiches, I found myself screaming at the computer “TEACHING AND LEARNING, TEACHING AND LEARNING”.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know how valuable the gardening day is – I went myself and I too enjoyed chatting with other parents (although the absence of cucumber sandwiches was rather upsetting). I, however, saved my gushy comments for an article on the website encouraging others parents to join in on the next gardening day. And on my governor visits I concentrated on – wait for it – teaching and learning.
I wonder how other governing bodies go about getting this right? Is there some kind of training out there for whole governing bodies? I appreciate that not all members have teaching experience and I know that this has its own value, but I do think that it is a waste of everyone’s time to concentrate on things such as gardening days.
Next full governing body meeting we will (hopefully) be voting in a new Chair – maybe she will make things a bit clearer to everyone.