November 9th

10 reasons why I am a school governor/trustee

I had a meeting of one of the committees of the Academy Trust of which I am a Director/Trustee tonight so I thought this might be a good opportunity to reflect on why I do this! Prior to this I was a school governor for 8 years and three schools. Ok so….

  1. It is interesting – it really is! I have found being involved with primary schools in this capacity absolutely fascinating and learnt so much. I’ve learnt a lot more about pedagogy, school management, governance, legislation, safeguarding, community support, curriculum design, leadership. Schools do so much that always something new to learn.
  2. It gives me a new perspective. Until I became a school governor, I didn’t really understand the role schools played in the community for example or the impact of local demographics on schools, and how the big the impact of primary education is in terms of a legacy for individual children that lasts long into adulthood.
  3. It helps me with my role. Understanding the education that children are receiving and the changes in style gives me a greater insight into the educational experiences of our students, which in turn helps me in my role in terms of our educational offer and the student experience.
  4. I can be useful. Governance is something we do a lot of in universities. A lot of committees and meetings. I realised that I’ve got a lot of experience of this which can be helpful for governing bodies where people may not have had the joy of sitting in many committees!
  5. I can give something back. This sounds a bit prudish and self satisfying but it is something that is important to me. I feel that I can contribute to the community around me by being involved in the schools in this way and help them out.
  6. It has given me insights into my children’s education. Particularly when I was a school governor, I felt incredibly privileged to go on school visits and learning walks where I could see the children in class, talk to the their teachers, understand the links between the lessons and so on. This has helped me so much with understanding how the school works and also contextualising my children’s experiences.
  7. I’ve made new connections in my community. I’ve met new people, connected with more parents and made new links which has helped me in whichever community I was living in.
  8. Helped me develop new skills. I have to be honest, some of the most challenging situations I have faced have been as a governor (all a long time ago now!). This has given me new experiences and new skills around collaboration and communication.
  9. I’ve made new connections at work. We have a school governor network at work and it has been great to take part in this and connect with other governors. This has introduced me to new people in my workplace.
  10. It’s in my genes. My mum was a parent governor. And then chair of governors. She even carried on at the school we had all been to when she moved 250 miles away. It kind of feels inevitable that I did a stint at governing, although eldest daughter now says “please do not become a governor at my school”!

If you are thinking of becoming a school governor or trustee I would definitely recommend it 🙂

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