The career-boosting benefits of becoming a school governor are being highlighted in a new recruitment campaign. East Sussex County Council is hoping its ‘I’m a Governor’ campaign will encourage professional people to consider signing up for the voluntary role in which they can gain useful experience.
“There are so many benefits to becoming a school governor,” said Cllr Bob Standley, the county council’s lead member for education and ISEND.
“As well as contributing to the future of young people in the local community, volunteers can gain experience of being on a board, setting strategy and financial planning, and develop skills that can help boost their careers.”
For James Woodward, a governor at both Ratton School and Ocklynge Junior School in Eastbourne, the experience of being a governor has helped support his own career as a head of education at a local zoo.
“Being a governor has given me a different perspective on education, on different schools, how schools are run,” he said. “As a governor, I go to professional meetings, write reports and have had to deal with issues in schools. There is a lot of training available and support.”
As well as gaining valuable experience and insight, James feels like the work he does as a school governor is making a difference. “I feel as though I have been able to help the schools and help the local area, so I would definitely recommend being a school governor. As a governor you can really make a difference to the running of the school. Because you are not a teacher or headteacher, you have a different perspective on things, different skills and expertise.”
With 15 per cent of school governor places in local authority maintained schools across East Sussex being vacant at any one time, the county council is keen to encourage as many people as possible to look into applying.
“You don’t have to be a parent to apply,” Cllr Standley added. “You just have to have an interest in education and between five and eight hours a month to spare. We are finding that employers are increasingly recognising the value of their staff becoming school governors and many now offer time off to enable them to perform their duties.”
To find out more information about the role of a school or how to apply for a vacancy at an East Sussex County Council maintained school, visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/schoolgovernor