Empower Your Community: The Rewards of Serving as a Governor

If you are passionate about the future of the education sector and believe you can add value from your career experience, then a Governor or Trustee position may be for you.

A significant part of my recruitment journey has been focused on sourcing primarily trustees for schools and education charities and both have an equally exciting flair, especially for those looking for the next step in their career.

With this in mind, it would be good to explore what some of the best attributes are to be a Governor/ Trustee and what the benefits are. But let’s first define what a Governor and Trustee are.

A Governor helps to plan the strategic direction of a school, makes sure public money is well spent, and holds school leadership to account. Similarly, a Trustee holds the school’s leadership team to account through strategic decision-making, ensuring the school meets its short and long-term goals.

Although this may seem like a huge responsibility in addition to a full-time job, the time commitment is usually only about 4-5 meetings per year, which is flexible and adaptable to one’s schedule. This is also great if you are retired or work part-time.

One of the fundamental factors needed to become a Governor and or Trustee is quite clearly having a genuine interest in the school or organisation that offers this opportunity and secondly aligning with the values of that institution. This provides a great foundation for the start of a Governor and or Trustee journey. From an educational context, it is important to have an interest or intrigue in the education sphere and the development of young people and this should be apparent in one’s motivations to take on a board position.

A Governor does not have to be a teacher or academic leader, you could work in finance, local business, the media, or the public sector, and in my experience depending on the needs of the board, the more diverse the better! Most schools have committees dedicated to various practice areas such as Finance, Estates, and HR. Whatever your professional background, your skills could help transform a school.

Taking on a Governor role not only benefits the school/organisation, but it is beneficial to the individual as well. You get to add real value and expertise garnered from your career experience, enhance your CV, network, foster strong professional relationships, give back to the community, and most importantly be a catalyst for impactful change that affects the lives of students and young people positively.

Another factor that I believe is beneficial, especially from a school’s perspective is having geographical familiarity and knowledge. In this way, it may be easier to call on the connections that you know within the area, you will have an understanding of the challenges within the community, know what the demographics are, and who the competition is in terms of local schools in the area. This knowledge puts an aspiring board member in a strong position and again will emphasise your commitment to the local community.

Finally, being a Governor or Trustee for a school is good to consider if you are an alumni member and want to give back, most educational institutions are welcoming of alumni members especially if they have expertise that the institution could benefit from. Additionally, alumni members can offer a different perspective from their time as a student and contribute constructively to strategic discussions and decisions.

Overall, a strong governing board ensures robust debate, which leads to better educational outcomes for children. I hope the above has given a brief insight into some of the benefits of taking on a board role, it truly can be the next exciting step of your career as it is a great opportunity to demonstrate your passion.

If you would like to learn more about what we do in the Schools Leadership team and our upcoming opportunities, please feel free to head to our website at schoolsleadership.com or email talk@schoolsleadership.com.

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