Looking to make the next step up the career ladder? Volunteering as a school governor can help you get there
Posted on 15th May 2019
Becoming a school governor can lead to a better future for you, your career and the young people in your area. You’ll develop new skills, build your network and gain board-level experience – all while giving back to your community. So how can you get involved – and how will your career benefit?
“In my last interview, I told the interviewer I was a governor. She recognised the value of the role and asked why it wasn’t on my CV”
What does a school governor do?
School governors have the power to improve education for children. The governing board helps schools run efficiently and effectively, supporting and challenging the headteacher and making sure public money is spent responsibly.
As a school governor, you’ll set the school’s vision, manage the school’s finances, and analyse educational outcomes. Governors are also involved in the school community, so you’ll see the impact of your decisions first-hand.
Being a school governor is a chance to experience leadership at board level at any point in your career. You’ll develop transferable skills such as strategic thinking and financial management in schools with multi-million-pound budgets. Having school governance on your CV is a worthy addition – employers recognise the skills you gain in the role.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn about areas outside of your usual role, including:
Finance – You’ll review and approve large budgets of over £1million as part of the governing board. You’ll work to find the best ways to manage the money available, prioritising and making often tough decisions.
HR – It’s the governing board’s job to recruit the headteacher and performance manage them in the role. A crucial part of being a governor is supporting and challenging the headteacher – skills that are valuable in any workplace.
Strategy – Decisions you make as a governor will directly affect the school and the children. As a governing board, you’ll set the ethos of the school and discuss the vision for the future. You’ll also review the school’s development plan.
Data analysis – You‘ll make informed decisions based on data, reviewing the data to make sure the school is on the track to success.
Analytical thinking – Governors need to solve problems quickly and effectively to make sure the school runs as efficiently as possible. As a governor, you’ll challenge the status quo by analysing the best processes for the school and asking the right questions.
“The skills and confidence gained from being a governor and taking on increasing levels of responsibility contributed to my success in gaining a promotion to departmental manager at work.”
How do you become a school governor?
Apply to become a governor with Governors for Schools and the charity will match your specific skillset with a local school in need. Apply online in 20 minutes.
You’ll have the opportunity to visit the school, meet the headteacher and ask any questions before joining the governing board. If you’re both happy with the match, the school will confirm your appointment to the board and you can start your school governor journey.
Is there any support available?
We offer free training and support to make sure you’re effective from your first day in the role.
- High quality e-learning provision, with free modules covering a variety of important topics such as finance for new governors and understanding data. The modules can be completed online at any time. You don’t need to be a current school governor to get started.
- Regularly scheduled webinars on a variety of topics, providing governors with an opportunity to hear from experts and ask questions.
- Six months’ free membership of The Key for School Governors for you and your fellow governors. The Key is the trusted online information service that provides practical guidance and resources to help you to perform your role effectively.
Volunteer your skills as a governor and see the difference your skills can make to a local school.