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New Governor? Preparing for your first meeting

Congratulations on becoming a new governor! You have just joined one of the largest volunteer forces in the country. But where to start? 

Before your first meeting make sure that the school issues you with the following

When you get your first set of meeting papers don't feel overwhelmed. There can be a lot to read. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to prepare – most governors spend between one and two hours preparing for a meeting.

Let's take some key items;

Always take notes as you go along as these will help you when you look back at the meeting, especially if you've been given some actions to do.

It's important that we think about governance in between meetings, but that we don't let it overtake everything that we do. Pace yourself especially if you are new.

Make sure you have ‘welcome to governance’ training, safeguarding training and some CPD on understanding data and finance. (The school should pay for these sessions).

You will also be required to let the school know about your business interests. These will be published on the school's website so to please be honest about it. If anything changes it's your responsibility to let the school know.

If you can’t attend a meeting please let the clerk know in advance. Although we all have emergencies and suddenly realise that we can't attend. Remember, attendance is also published on the school website.

You'll be asked to sign the school's code of conduct. It sets out how we should behave and what is expected of us. It's not onerous but it is important. It should also reflect the school’s values.

Remember even though you've only been newly elected or newly appointed your voice has value and your perspective is important.

And finally thank you – let’s hope your first meeting is both interesting and rewarding!

Source documents

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