Seeking a way to pay it forward? Wanting to improve the education of the children of the future? Then you may have what it takes to become a school governor.
Volunteering as a governor is a great opportunity to expand your skills, benefitting you both personally and professionally but also helping those around you.
School governors play a vital role in maintaining and raising the standard of the education system. Every state school in Britain has a governing body, formed from volunteer school governors.
Working behind the scenes to ensure a level of standard and effectiveness, governors are an important and critical part of the education system.
Each individual governor is part of a board that are responsible for setting the aims and the policies and targets needed to achieve those aims. Governors are also required to act as a ‘critical friend’ of the staff and the headteacher.
In most cases, there will be a need to oversee the finances of the establishment, making sure money is well spent.
“I would recommend it but you have got to have that time and commitment if you want to be involved. You have got to be prepared to commit yourself and throw yourself into it.” – Denise Smith, former school governor for St Nicholas C of E Primary School, Essex
Volunteering is a rewarding experience and allows you to develop not only teamwork and management skills, but also financial management, negotiation and board-level skills.
There is no need for any specific qualifications or requirements, and anyone over the age of 18 can become a school governor. On average, a governor can be required to commit between five to 15 hours, mostly in the evenings, but this can increase with responsibilities.
Speaking about being a governor, Jo Matthews, a Vice Chair of a city college said, “I became a governor because I wanted to give something back to the college that started me on my career in education. I have a lot of experience and knowledge that could help the senior team. I love the fact that I am now contributing to young people who are also starting on their careers.”
“Being a governor means making decisions that will impact on people’s lives. I think being a governor is one of the most important roles in any college, as we give direction to the college and are stewards of college assets. We also make sure every learner gets an outstanding learning experience. I’m also learning a lot, and feel so proud at student award ceremonies, that I have contributed to enabling them to succeed.”
There are a number of bodies that can advise and connect you throughout the process of volunteering, such as Inspiring the Future and Inspiring Governors.
Inspiring Governors is a new service that connects thousands of volunteers interested in becoming school governors with schools and colleges nationwide. It is part of Inspiring the Future the online matchmaking service that connects state schools and colleges with over 26,000 volunteers across the country.
“It’s been so rewarding to see the impact the governing body has had on the children’s lives – we really are helping give them the best possible education” – Sharna Jackson, Community Governor, Rotherhithe School
If you are interested in becoming a school governor, or wish to find out more information then visit the Inspiring Governors website or contact your local school.