Schools across Hampshire are looking for people to help make a positive difference to children’s education and help a school to be the best, by volunteering to be a school governor.
There are over 524 schools and academies in the county with over 5,000 governors supporting them. However, while many schools have a full quota of governors, other schools have vacancies for between one and three new governors.
Councillor Peter Edgar, Executive Member for Education at Hampshire County Council, said: “Being a school governor is a very rewarding and fulfilling role and we are immensely grateful to governors for their commitment and hard work. Their support is invaluable and we are indebted to those people who give up their time freely to help schools to be the best that they can be.
“Schools can benefit from the wealth of experience of people from all walks of life, and the skills they have acquired from a wide range of careers – and I urge more people to consider supporting our family of schools. People can find out more about being a governor online, by contacting their local school, or by calling Governor Services on 01962 845706.”
It is the duty of the governors to support and challenge school leaders and, in doing so, continually drive up standards, ensure that school finances are appropriately managed and ensure that children are safe, happy and, with the school’s teaching and support, are achieving their personal best.
Betty Read has been a Local Authority Governor for over 12 years, bringing with her skills from a career in law. She said: “I had no previous experience of school governance but personally, and as a parent, I had seen the power of education to change lives and wanted to play some role in providing these opportunities to others. It is very rewarding to see the impact of our policies and strategic decisions on outcomes for pupils and on the wider school community.”
Asked what she would say to people considering becoming a governor, Betty replied: “Do it. It’s fun. Do not worry that you do not know anything about education – you will learn. In my experience, governing bodies are very supportive to newcomers, really happy to share their knowledge and never think that a question is “stupid” – none of us are experts! You will get lots of training opportunities.”
She added: “Everyone has something to offer from their own life: experiences which will be valuable – you don’t need to be a lawyer, teacher or accountant, or to be employed at all, to be able to do this role; it’s not all about reading papers! All governors contribute in different ways.”
Governors can become involved in a range of school matters, which can include recruitment, finance and curriculum. They also provide a strong link between the school and the local community, and an independent view to support the school on long term development and improvement.