Could you support local schools by becoming a Governor or Trustee?
Local Schools are looking for volunteers to become Governors and Trustees.
If you are experienced in leadership, HR, finance or project management, schools in your local area would love to hear from you. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute.
School governors and trustees make a valuable contribution to children’s education, opportunities and futures.
Being a school governor or trustee is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community and use and develop your skills in a board-level environment. You will also be joining the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England.
Schools need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has repeatedly noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management - including by the governing board.
Anyone aged 18 or over can be a governor or trustee (but there are some exceptions) and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. There is plenty of training available to help you learn about education. Schools need and benefit from a range of professional knowledge on their governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, property and estates management, and organisational change.
What do Governors and Trustees do?
Governors or trustees set the aims and objectives for the school or group of schools, ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. They set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher.
Governors and trustees must be prepared to adopt the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. Be committed to their role and young people. They need to be able to work collaboratively, with inquiring thought processes and able to be creative and innovative in problem solving.
How much time, what is the commitment?
This depends upon each individual school and the role, but on average the time commitment is five to eight hours per month. This includes meetings, background reading and school visits. As well as full governing board meetings, many schools have various committees and link governor roles which you may like to contribute to.
Governance is a voluntary role and therefore it is not paid. Some schools and trusts may pay travel and other expenses, but this will vary each school will have its own policies and procedures.
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To find out more about volunteering as a school governor or trustee in schools across the North Yorkshire Moors and Coastal area, contact Sharon Markham on 07875 297780 for an informal discussion or click here for our on-line contact form.
What happens next?
We will talk to you about the role of a school Governor, answer any initial queries and try to match you with a local school. Each school or trust will have its own recruitment process for volunteers that may include completing an application form, undertaking an interview, visiting the school or even observing a governing board meeting. These are an opportunity for the school to ensure you are right for their governing board and for you to decide that school is right for you, helping both to make an informed decision.
You must undergo an enhanced DBS check, and your appointment will be subject to this, plus it is also good practice for schools to take up references. You will also need to complete a declaration of interests to declare any financial or loyalty interests - this information must be published on each school's website.
We can support you at all stages, full training is available it isn't necessary that you have experience in an educational setting, the most important thing is that you have the commitment and time to fulfil the role.