Home > 2012Wish > Wish #1 – to be a governor

Wish #1 – to be a governor

Photo: Humphrey Bolton www.geograph.org.uk

Well this is a relatively achievable start to the wish list, and something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years now.

Over ten years ago I was a teacher governor, a role that I enjoyed but didn’t – at that point in my career – understand fully or make the most of. In fact the only thing I remember about it was appointing a new head teacher. Since then, as deputy, I’ve been an observer on two governing bodies. That’s a lot of governing bodies, a lot of governors I’ve worked with, and a LOT of meetings I’ve attended…

I think it would be excellent CPD for me to become a governor of a school I don’t teach in. I’m also very keen to be able to give something to my local community. There are several primary schools close to me so my thought was that I’d let the new job settle and then approach one in the summer to let them know I’d be interested if something came up.

However, last night I was catching up with an old friend who is Chair of Governors at a secondary school – all be it an independent one. It made me think that actually maybe approaching one of the local secondary schools might be something that I’d rather do. Not only would it take me out of my comfort zone more so as a challenge would allow me to develop personally, it would also widen my understanding of secondary education which would be useful both for my current role and for the future if I choose to return to school leadership.

Would a secondary school find an ex-primary school deputy head a useful governor? I would think so. Especially as my passion is for learning, regardless of age or environment. I have a lot of experience to draw on and I want to be an active governor – I’m guessing that’s a pretty good start.

To take this wish forward I will need to start finding out more about the local secondary schools as I would not consider offering to be considered unless I actually felt I had a sense of the school and could make a connection. Well there’s a start to 2012 a an actual possible action and something to aim for… As if I don’t already have the challenge of a new job to start in two days time!

Categories: 2012Wish
  1. January 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I think it is a wonderful idea! I was primary based in experience but I’m now chair at a secondary Pupil referral unit and also chair at a secondary special school. It is great learning and you do see that while they are quite different, schools share so many things. I’m going to flag this post up on the Head’s Office to try to encourage others to do the same!

    Good luck next week! xx

    • Lara Savory
      January 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks Julia. I think it’s a great opportunity for me but also hope I have lots to offer.

  2. January 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Super idea

    I would agree that whatever experience you have within the teaching profession you will be invaluable within the governing body. I know from experience that some of the governors at my school finding it hard. This is due to the fact that they have good business and common sense skills but they don’t know the inner workings of school so there governance is often wayward due to this. Don’t get me wrong most of the governors at my school have good intensions but they lack the educational knowledge to make good informed choices.

    I wish you well with the new job and with your continued venture in becoming a school governor.

    Good luck

    Nick Overton

    • January 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks, Nick.

      I have to say it’s just the secondary school but that’s really pushing me out of my comfort zone. I agree that non-education governors have so much to offer and their different perspectives really help but that their lack of knowledge of the education system can be frustrating both for them and for their school…

  3. January 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Marvellous! I think that becoming a school governor is one of the most important things you can do for your community. Your experience will also be really appreciated, and it will count as excellent CPD for you too – a real win-win-win situation!

    A deep knowledge of education isn’t a necessity to becoming a school governor – although it can help with understanding a lot of the abbreviations and terms used! This can sometimes put a lot of people off volunteering to be a governor.

    We offer a (free, no sign-up) e-learning course which explains what’s needed to be a governor, and SGOSS also give some great advice and tips:

    Our free course: http://www.moderngovernor.com/free-course/
    SGOSS website: http://www.sgoss.org.uk/

    All the best in your new job this week too!


    • January 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks for all the above, Elaine.

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