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,” says Councillor Bob Standley, the county council’s lead member for education.
“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.”
Accountant Nabil Zakher became a governor at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School in Bexhill to ‘give something back’ to his children’s school. He has worked in the NHS for 30 years and has experience in financial management, budget control and performance management.
“I would definitely recommend becoming a school governor,” he said. “I feel my contribution is valued and I feel I am helping my local school to maintain and improve its performance.”
Nabil believes the experience gained as a school governor can help in a volunteer’s own career: “You will learn about different aspects of managing a school, different systems – financial and otherwise, safeguarding and performance appraisals. You have the opportunity to chair meetings work as part of a group – valuable experiences that can be transferred to other roles.
“You don’t have to be a parent to be a school governor and there is a lot of training available, including an induction for new governors. There will also be networking opportunities and regular forums,” he added.
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,” Mr Standley says, “…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