School: Homerswood Primary School
Please tell us about yourself….
In a professional capacity, I am a 5 year qualified solicitor involved in Real Estate Litigation at Dentons (largest firm in the world).
What sparked your interest in being a school governor?
My wife is an assistant head teacher at a primary school and I was keen to understand the education system better. I also wanted to be a governor before approach by Governors for Schools, however I was unsure as to how to proceed. Finally, I wanted to assist a school in my local community where I have lived all my life and myself, went to school in.
What have you found to be most enjoyable/ rewarding about being a school governor?
Understanding how a school, operates, putting my skill set to good use, meeting others in my local community with shared goals and seeing how governors can impact the school and those within it.
Please detail some of the projects in which you have been involved, or hope to be in the future?
Seeking to increase the school’s rating from good to outstanding at the upcoming Ofsted inspection in 2018. Cannot discuss particular projects for confidentiality purposes. Although not a project, I am happy to have been elected Co-Chair at a pivotal time when the school is pushing for an outstanding status.
Which existing skills have most helped you as a governor and why?
Communication, negotiation and drafting skills from being a solicitor. Reasons are expressing myself at board meetings, providing advice on next steps when considering how to develop the school, chairing meetings with the head and other governors, being part of pay reviews and the hiring process.
What skills have you developed since becoming a governor?
Communication with others in a more personal (yet still professional) environment. A half-way house between “civil” life and work.
How important do you think a governing body is to the success of a school?
Very important. There are so many different areas of a school which governors are involved with, oversee and have a direct impact on. Whilst the head, teachers and children are main focus and staple of the school, governors have a key role to play in keeping the school a well-oiled and operative machine.
What do you think a school governor is?
A volunteer who has a genuine desire and willingness to make a positive and important difference to the education of children who they may never meet without asking or seeking any praise or acknowledgement in return.
If you were to recommend school governance to a friend, what would you say?
If you have a genuine desire to make a difference, then definitely apply. You have to be prepared to give up some of your time for free but if you want to do it, the reward of making a difference to the children in your local community far outweighs the requirement to provide your free time.
How do you think you have helped improve children’s education?
By providing and implementing ideas, listening to the skills and expertise of education experts, working together with the headteacher and staff and always having the best interests of the school and children in every decision that is made, both as an individual and as a part of a cohesive team of volunteers.