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Online and active governors
Northfield School’s previous website had a secured section where governors had all their documents stored but it was down to the IT staff to maintain the documents and it was sometimes quite time consuming, particularly when the governors wanted to change things around.
When we decided to give our website a much needed overhaul, the roll-out of it coincided with us introducing FrogLearn to the school. Our new website didn’t have a facility where we could make a secure section available for governor documents so it was decided to use Frog instead where the governors’ site could be made accessible to the governors and our Senior Leadership Team only.
David Herron, Northfield School
Very little input from IT staff
After a few training sessions our Chair of Governors was off and doing things for himself with very little input from IT staff. The governors now have a document repository that they look after themselves and don’t have to wait for anyone else to update.
Use of the site
The Governors’ site is used primarily to share up-to-date governance documents with governors and SLT. It also has their meeting calendar and a form that they can use to update any governor-related training completed. These records are then collated into one document by the Chair.
Les Wadey - Chair of the Governors
The benefit to the governors is that the governor site has become a virtual office. It has two main functions:
- To act as a library of documents from all sources, such as the DfE, Ofsted, LA and school. These can be easily updated so that the most recent document is always at the top of the list. By using personally named tabs the documents can be organised so as to be easily found. The site also stores governing body data and information such as the Instrument of Government and committee membership etc.
- To act as a meetings organiser. All agendas and documents for every governor meeting, whether full governing body or committee, are stored under the relevant tab. Governors can read these before meetings and refer back to previous meetings very easily. It does allow governors, to easily keep up to date with committees, which they do not attend. Following the provision of iPads, to all governors, the meetings have become paperless saving substantial cost in printing and distribution. One unexpected benefit is that meetings have been shortened, since the discussion and updating of policies etc has become much more efficient. At meetings some governors log on to Frog to have the documents to hand whereas others use OneDrive or an offline document app to store and access the documents.
Les believes the portal works because it is updated and maintained:
"The site can be interactive but we have not developed that potential to date. We do ask governors to record training sessions so that we have an online record but have not used the news or focus group discussion facilities. Governors do not use the personal dashboard facility.
Like all similar sites, successful use is dependent upon a dedicated governor administrator monitoring and updating the site. However, several members of the SLT also add documents, which is very effective in quickly updating meeting agenda items. Now we are established other governors could be trained as administrators.”