New campaign to highlight why Suffolk people should become school governors

An education charity which supports school governors is launching a new campaign in Suffolk to encourage more people to take up the role.

The Governor Stories campaign is being launched at Quay Place in Ipswich on October 9 by charity Governors for Schools, with the aim of inspiring people to consider joining their local school’s governing board.

The scheme aims to break down some of the stereotypes of school governors, and encourage people of all backgrounds and varying skills sets to consider the role.

It has recorded the experiences of more than 30 governors so far, to help people understand the realities of what it involves.

Louise Cooper, Governors for Schools chief executive said: “Across England, but particularly outside the urban areas, we are really seeing a strong demand for governors.

“We really want to get the word out there to people that might not have considered it before – what can you bring to a school that’s near you?”

Ms Cooper said part of the project was breaking down common misconceptions, and said that the best governing boards featured people with various skills sets such as finance, HR or management, and didn’t require everyone to have a detailed knowledge of the education sector.

It also aims to encourage younger people and women to consider roles, while businesses are being encouraged to help support their employees to become governors as part of their engagement with their community.

Tina Ellis, who is on the governing boards at Ormiston Denes Academy and East Coast College in Lowestoft, said: “It’s really good to see pupils improving – you get a real buzz out of seeing the successes of the students and development of teaching staff.

“It’s not just a board meeting – often there are sub-meetings or particularly in primary schools you do have a variety of things.”

Data published by Suffolk County Council in May revealed 378 vacancies across 149 local authority-maintained schools, prompting it to relaunch its Govern Suffolk campaign.

The event will run from 10am-12pm featuring speakers, advice and support and a chance to speak to people to get involved.

Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills at Suffolk County Council said: “Becoming a school governor is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a team that can positively influence children’s lives.

“I was a school governor myself for many years and found the experience to be incredibly rewarding.

“The Governors Stories campaign is really important with school governors playing such a vital role in our education system.

“They provide strategic leadership and accountability and ensure the school is as good as it can be.

“We need more Suffolk residents to put their skills into our schools to continue driving up standards.”

Source: Sudbury Mercury.

Posted in Academy news on 5th September 2018.

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