• Volunteers needed to help shape children’s educational services

    Volunteers needed to help shape children’s educational services

    Residents in County Durham are being offered the chance to play their part in helping to shape educational services for children and young people. 

    Durham County Council is seeking to appoint three Parent Governor Representatives (PGRs) to sit on its Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC). 

    PGRs play a key role in helping to shape the council’s education services, using their own expertise, personal knowledge and experience to influence how the council and its partners develop and deliver services in the future. 

    During the past year, the committee has considered a wide range of issues including: elective home education, child neglect in the county, children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools, best start in life, child poverty as well as educational outcomes.

    Anyone applying to become a PGR must have been elected by parents to represent them on a school governing body and must be the parent of a child currently attending a Durham County Councill-maintained school or being educated outside of school with funding from the local authority.

    Councillors, anyone employed by the council or at a school maintained by the authority as either teaching or non-teaching staff, and anyone already serving as a PGR for another authority cannot apply. 

    The committee has six scheduled meetings per year, held at County Hall, starting at 9.30am and usually concluding around 11.30am. There are also opportunities for applicants to be involved in additional focused pieces of work undertaken by the committee, should they wish to do so. 

    Joanne Norman, who previously served as a PGR, said: “It has been an extremely rewarding experience for me to serve as a PGR on the Children and Young People’s OSC. 

    “It has enhanced my role as a parent governor and has allowed me to see the bigger picture, not just in terms of education but physical and mental health, youth and family services and the local economy.

    “My involvement has also been beneficial personally. My confidence has improved and being given the opportunity to contribute to a review group has given me a great sense of achievement. I would encourage more parent governors to get involved and help provide different perspectives to the committee.”

    Cllr Chris Hood, who chairs the committee, said: “The input of Parent Governor Representatives on the committee is very valued. It is an important role and one in which we use the expertise, knowledge and influence they bring to help best develop and deliver services for children and young people in our county.” 

    For further information, or to apply for a position as a PGR, email scrutiny@durham.gov.uk