Anyone over the age of 18 can become a school governor and you don’t have to have children attending a particular school, neither do you need any specialist qualifications. What you do require is an ambition and passion that will help the school achieve its goals over the next few years.
For schools that are looking to bring in new governors, recruitment can be an issue. It’s a job that requires a lot of focus and work on the part of the individual, so finding likely candidates can be difficult. Most schools will be looking for a good mix of people from a wide range of backgrounds and educational classes to act as their board of governors.
The key roles of a governor include:
- Helping to create a clear vision for the school’s future.
- Holding the head teacher to account when it comes to delivering high quality education or meeting the goals of the school’s vision.
- Checking the financial operation of the school and making sure that money is well spent.
In some cases, the school governor can be involved in budgeting decisions, appointing new staff or dismissing existing ones, developing school policies and setting standards that should be enforced with regards to discipline, uniforms and general pupil behaviour.
One area that governors may get involved with nowadays is improvements in technology that can add value to the school’s teaching. This not includes making sure that hardware such as computers and interactive TVs are available in the classroom but that other tech such as software is used to improve the pupil experience and also increase communication with interested parties such as parents and guardians.
One recent issue that governors have become involved in is bringing on board school apps that can be downloaded onto smartphone and other mobile devices such as tablets. These give parents, teachers and pupils access to all the information they need including timetables and upcoming events such as parent teacher evenings and sports days. Parents can also get immediate notifications if, for example, there is a problem and the school needs to close. It’s the kind of technology that not only improves communication across the board but also saves schools valuable money.
You may think that most school governors are middle class professionals with some clearly defined skill set. In fact, most good schools are looking for a wide mix of people who can contribute their time and ideas to developing education for the future. Schools can offer training when addition skills are needed, for example, understanding how the budget works or the roles of different people within the school.
While it is a hugely challenging role, being a school governor is also a rewarding one. If you are interested in getting involved in education, then contact your local school for more information on how to apply should a place on the board come up in the near future.