Why I choose to volunteer
I volunteered as a school governor as, at the time, I was a stay-at-home mum and wanted something to do to keep my brain active.
My background is in finance and I thought this skill could be used in making sure we are getting "best value" from resources. My children also attend the school I am a governor at.
What I like about being a volunteer
I like that our governing board is made up of a team of people with different backgrounds and skillsets that all have the same goal. Our goal is to make sure that all children in our school receive a good quality of education and be the best that they can be.
I became a governor during lockdown so all meetings were held virtually with no school visits. It has been great to be able to get into schools and actually see for ourselves what is being achieved and what is still to be achieved.
What the role involves
Governors have 3 core functions:
- planning the strategic direction of the school
- overseeing financial performance of the school
- holding the executive leaders to account
Our governing board meets 6 times a year for full governing body meetings and finance committee meetings. We meet 3 times a year for the curriculum committee meetings.
We tie our governing monitoring program in with the curriculum meetings and select areas from the school development plan to look at. On our school visits we walk around classrooms, do book looks and talk with pupils and staff. The outcomes are fed back to the full governing board at the next meeting.
I regularly attend training sessions run by Bracknell Forest to update my skills and knowledge. The training is mostly held in the evenings and online which makes it easy to attend even with 3 children to take care of!
When I first became a governor I did feel a bit out of my depth as I had no knowledge of education (apart from once having attended school myself!) but our clerk told me "there is no such thing as a stupid question". This gave me the confidence to speak up if I didn't understand something. Governor Services are always on hand to help and I had other, more experienced, members of the board to mentor me.