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  1. #1
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    School Governors

    The only thing we really ever hear about them is when Lucius blackmails them into dismissing Dumbledore, and the only governor we ever meet is Lucius.

    I tried to read up on this a bit, but the info you get online is a bit vague, and I suspect that it might even be different at each school...


    So, my bundle of questions...

    What exactly are school governors? How are they appointed/elected? Who can become a governor? Do all schools in Britain have them, or all boarding schools, or is it unusual?

    What are the tasks/obligations/rights/privileges that come with the post? How do you think this would translate to Hogwarts? Would they be involved in the day-to-day life of the school a lot?

    Are there prejudices against governors - would it mostly be rich purebloods like Lucius?


    I'm considering making the parent of one of my characters a governor, and I'm just trying to figure out how it fits into the story...
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  2. #2
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Every school I've been to has had a board of governors, though it should be noted that out of the three schools I went to, two offered boarding and the majority of students did board (not me though). They didn't really mean too much to me at the time, as we didn't see them or really have any idea what they did; they were just pictures on a wall.

    Govenors are volunteers, I think, so they're likely to be older members of the community who want to do a bit of good during their retirement, at least, that's what they looked like.

    Govenors are responsible for things like approving school budgets, reviewing policies and how the money is spent, improving standards etc. I don't know if they have any say in which teachers are appointed, but I do think they have a say in who's headmaster. I think that they can call into question how good certain teachers are and tell the headmaster of their concerns about said teacher, but I don't think they have the power to fire anyone.

    The website for Doncaster Council said that school govenors are appointed by the local council. I think this is different to the County Council, which, as the name suggests is county wide. Where I live, Somerset is split up into different local councils, for example I live in South Somerset, so if what the Doncaster website says is correct, the govenors for the schools in that area would be appointed by the South Somerset council. Though this is partly guesswork and I could be wrong.

    Would they be involved in the day-to-day life of the school a lot?

    No, they wouldn't. I never really knew who the govenors were for my schools. One website I found said that the position required about eight or nine hours a month, and these would probably be in the form of meetings out of school hours. They'd be probably responsible for what went on in the school, but they wouldn't be present in school hours. They might be guests of honour at things like Speech Days or Prizegiving Days, though.

    As for Hogwarts, I think it'd probably be much the same. I can imagine that there'd be residents of Hogsmeade on the board of govenors, as well as parents, like Lucius was, and just other people wanting to do a bit of good for the school. I don't know how they'd be elected, though. I don't think they'd be appointed by the Ministry because Fudge doesn't appear to have any control over the school in OOTP and if he had the power of govenors, he could use them instead of Umbridge. I think that new govenors would be elected by the other govenors because I can't think of anything else!

    Sarah x


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  3. #3
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Governors at state schools in England are appointed in a variety of ways. (It may be different in the rest of the UK) There will be some appoinyted by the council, some are parents at the school (parent governors) and some are teachers or teaching assistants who apply to be governors. The parent governors are voted in by the other parents.

    At the school I work in we have 13 governors, six are parent governors, 3 are local council appointees, 1 isd a teacher, 1 is a teaching assistant and the last two are members of the community. This is a primary school with roughly 400 children.

    I don't think Hogwarts as a private school whould have the same obligation to represent local councils, but I think the Ministry would appoint a large number of the governors - I'm sure it can't be down to Dumbledore's decision because he wouldn't have appointed people who caved in so willingly to Lucius.

    Would they be involved in the day-to-day life of the school a lot?
    Well, if Septima Vector, for example, was on the governing body then yes she would be involved. Th govs at my school are pretty much involved with major school decisions (budget, appointees etc). But the governors of Hogwarts didn't seem to have that much power. They could call for Dumbledore's resignation, but didn't manage to appoint anyone else - McGonagall just automatically took over. And they weren't around at all when Dolores took over.

    What are the tasks/obligations/rights/privileges that come with the post? How do you think this would translate to Hogwarts? Would they be involved in the day-to-day life of the school a lot?
    I don't think they have any rights and priveledges as such. They have influence but many governors in UK do the job because they want to make a difference in the community. The cynical side of me would also add that there is a small degree of power attached to the post (they can appoint teachers and also influence budgetry decisions) and being a governor is often seen as the next step to becoming a coucillor, an MP etc etc. It won't harm your prospects if being a governor is on your CV - put it that way.

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  4. #4
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Okay, so... from what you told me now (thanks for that!), this idea is forming in my head...

    Traditionally (and officially) it would be the Ministry's job to appoint governors, but since Dumbledore became Headmaster, the Ministry hardly seems to have been involved in Hogwarts business at all, so maybe they passed the task of appointing on...

    I was thinking that they maybe had four parent governors, four "community" members, and four teachers (the HoHs) - does that sound likely at all? But then it would be weird for Lucius to be able to scare McGonagall, for example, into sending Dumbledore away...

    For that reason, I can't really see any governors in the teaching staff... they all seem to be extremely loyal to Dumbledore.


    Anyway, back to the appointing - maybe the current body of governors would, together with the HoHs, decide who to appoint? Does that sound likely?



    And, one last question, do you think a well-respected wizard could be a governor even before his child starts at Hogwarts, if it is clear that it will soon (start school, I mean)?
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  5. #5
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    And, one last question, do you think a well-respected wizard could be a governor even before his child starts at Hogwarts, if it is clear that it will soon (start school, I mean)?
    Entirely possible. For some reason I've always assumed Lucius was a governor before Draco started at Hogwarts (despite him wanting to send Draco to Durmstrang) because he likes to have as much influence as possible.

    Right, I wouldn't have the teachers as governors. Lucius would not have been able to intimidate them. I'd keep it as respected magical folk, parents and Ministry appointees.

    Anyway, back to the appointing - maybe the current body of governors would, together with the HoHs, decide who to appoint? Does that sound likely?
    I'm not sure they'd consult the HoHs. Why not stick with them consulting Dumbledore and McGonagall (as deputy) and also someone at The Ministry - perhaps the Minister but it doesn't have to be.

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