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Become a school governor: ‘You will make a difference’

Become a school governor: ‘You will make a difference’

February 25, 2021
Shows how to become a school governor in Ealing

Ealing Council and Governors for Schools will be hosting an online school governor recruitment event on Thursday, 11 March from 6.15 pm.

School governors play an active role in schools and improving outcomes for young people across the borough. Could you become a governor?

Register for the event.

The event will bring together those interested in becoming school governors in Ealing, and representatives from local schools looking for new recruits for their governing boards. It is an opportunity to ask questions and hear from governors to help find that perfect match of governor to school.

Council officers will also be there to talk about the training available and answer any questions.

What some of our governors say

Maggie Pound (MBE) and Selina Eshun are governors at schools in the borough.

Maggie has been a longstanding school governor in the area. She has more than 20 years’ experience of chairing governors and has been school governor at four schools. She is currently chairing the governors at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic High School in Greenford and is also a governor at Mount Carmel Catholic Primary School in Ealing.  She was at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School in Acton and Coston Primary School in Greenford.

This year she was listed in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for her contribution to governing and supporting schools.

When asked how she first became interested in supporting schools, Maggie said: “I have always been interested in the way schools are run, I have a passion for people and education. You get to work with lots of great people.

“When I first joined Cardinal Wiseman, it was a difficult time for the school. I was able to help the school through this, especially as the role of a school governor is to help support the strategic direction of the school.”

Selina Eshun governs Allenby Primary School, which is a mainstream primary with a unit for children with severe learning disability and or autism.

“Our school ethos is built around the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC,” she said. “I’m currently the vice chair, special educational needs and disability (SEND) governor, a member of the SEND working group, the safeguarding working group and chair of the UNCRC Rights Respecting parents’ group.

“At present I am a co-opted governor. I first became a governor in March 2017 when I was elected as a parent governor. At the end of my two-year term in 2019, I was appointed as a co-opted governor by the governing body.”

“As a parent I was keen to make a valuable contribution to my children’s school and being a governor has really allowed me to fulfil this.”

Not just for parents

Governors do not need to have any relevant experience or connection to a school, unless they wish to become a parent governor, in which case they must have a child at the school.  However, you do need to have a commitment to ensuring excellent outcomes for local children and a willingness to learn and contribute.

Governors ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school. They support the headteacher and senior management team, but also hold them to account and make decisions about budgets and resources.

The average time commitment is around six to 10 days per year. Employers, under Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, must give employees who are school governors, reasonable time off to carry out their duties.

‘You will make a difference’

Many governors provide vital support to the borough’s schools. They are representative of the local population and bring a range of valuable and useful skills and experience with them. At the time of national crisis, support and advice to headteachers is of the highest importance.

Selina added: “Ealing has a fantastic CPD offer for governors that will prepare, support and equip you so you can carry out the core functions plus it enables great networking opportunities.

“If you have high aspirations for all children, then become an Ealing school governor – you will make a difference.”

Interested? Find out more

If you have ever thought about becoming a school governor and wondered what it  involves, find out the facts at the information Zoom event on 11 March from 6.15 pm.

Register for the event.

To find out more about becoming a governor you can also visit School governors and clerks  Ealing Council or Ealing Grid for Learning