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School pupil. Event is being held for people interested in being a school governor

Be a school governor and make a difference

If you have ever wanted to find out more about becoming a school governor, and the difference you could make by doing so, you should check out an upcoming online recruitment event.

On Thursday, 10 March, Ealing Council and Governors for Schools will bring together those interested in becoming school governors with representatives from local schools who are looking for new recruits for their governing boards. It is an opportunity to ask questions about being a school governor and hear from current governors, to help find that perfect match of governor to school. Council officers will also be there to talk about the training available and answer any questions.

You can register for the event online. It is due to begin at 6pm.

Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, the council’s cabinet member for a fairer start, said: “School governors play an active role in schools and in improving outcomes for young people across the borough.

“To be a governor you do not need to have any relevant experience or connection to a school, unless you become a parent governor, in which case you must have a child at the school. But you do need to have a commitment to ensuring excellent outcomes for local children and a willingness to learn and contribute.”

If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a school governor, three local current governors will be on-hand to give you a flavour of what is involved and what advice they would give to anyone thinking of becoming a school governor.

What our governors say

Charmaine Best is vice chair of governors at Downe Manor Primary School. Part of her role as a governor involves visits to the school, speaking with the students and teachers and observing lessons.

“I really enjoy interacting with the pupils and seeing the progress they and the school make, and what they achieve together,” said Charmaine. “Being a governor does require time commitment. There are meetings and trainings to undertake. However, the level of personal satisfaction you can experience by adding value to a school and, ultimately, the future of pupils is fulfilling.”

Mike Kelleher is chair of governors at Havelock Primary School and interim chair at East Acton Primary. He said: “Don’t be frightened to volunteer. It might seem daunting but it’s so worthwhile. All you need is a bit of common sense, and you’ll be surprised how much value you’ll find from your own working life that might be transferred to governorship. But, don’t do this job lightly. It requires commitment and time for meetings and reading and assimilating a lot of paperwork.”

Hilary Belden, who is chair of governors at William Perkin High School and interim chair at Stanhope Primary School, said: “It will be fun, if you bring your own skills and experience and don’t worry too much about being the perfect governor.

“You will have a ringside seat and role in the development of a school. Students are incredibly exciting to be with and their teachers and support staff are amazingly talented people. The energy will blow you away.”

Not just for parents

Governors do not need to have any relevant experience or connection to a school, unless they wish to become a parent governor, in which case they must have a child at the school. However, you do need to have a commitment to ensuring excellent outcomes for local children and a willingness to learn and contribute.

Governorship is about ensuring a clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction for the school. The board of governors support the headteacher and senior management team, but also hold them to account and make decisions about budgets and resources.

The average time commitment is around six to 10 days per year. Employers, under Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, must give employees who are school governors reasonable time off to carry out their duties.

‘You will make a difference’

Many governors provide vital support to the borough’s schools. They are representative of the local population and bring a range of valuable and useful skills and experience with them. At the time of national crisis, support, and advice to headteachers is of the highest importance.

Councillor Nagpal added: “There is fantastic support and training for governors that will prepare you so you can carry out the core functions, and it provides great networking opportunities.

“If you want to see and help local children achieve their aspirations, then become an Ealing school governor – you will make a difference.”

Interested? Find out more

So, if you have ever thought about becoming a school governor and wondered what it  involves, find out the facts at the information Zoom event on Thursday, 10 March from 6pm. Register for the event.

To find out more about becoming a governor you can also visit School governors and clerks  Ealing Council or information about becoming a governor on Ealing Grid for Learning

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