I’ve been a governor at a local primary school for a few years now and have enjoyed it a lot, so I was pleased to see the latest campaign encouraging people to volunteer as governors – apparently there are 30,000 vacancies across the UK.
Education charity SGOSS has made a video showing how being a school governor can help people gain useful business skills, and also how they can use their professional skills to the benefit of their community. This is a big reason to be a governor for me. As well as learning more about how schools work in general I have gained more exposure to financial statements and accounting practice through sitting on the finance committee, which has been helpful in my first forays into trying to understand public finance more broadly and will be a good start if I set up a business as I hope to. At the same time I have drawn on my interests and previous experience to develop ways of engaging harder to reach parents in school life, help draft policies and fundraising letters, facilitate a SWOT exercise and contribute to the school travel plan, as well as meeting nice people who want to see good things happen in their local community.
People may not realise that you don’t have to be a parent with children at the school, or even a parent at all, to be a governor. Also you don’t have to know anything about schools – being able to ask the right questions seems to be much more useful than knowing any of the answers. If you’ve never thought about it, take a look!