School governors needed

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Cambs County Council is urging people to consider becoming a school governor.

There are over 4,000 school governors in Cambridgeshire, making it the largest volunteer force in the county.

You do not have to have children at school to be a governor, nor do you need specialist skills. You do need to be over 18, satisfy eligibility criteria set by the government and have the interest and ability to listen, think through new ideas and decide what is best for the school as part of a team.

The governing body works with the headteacher and staff to make sure the school provides a good quality education for its students, providing strategic direction to support the headteacher to make operational day-to-day decisions.

The role of the governor consists of three elements:

* to take a largely strategic role in the running of the school

* to act as a critical friend

* to ensure accountability of the governing body to the parents, and of the headteacher to the governing body.

The responsibilities and powers must be exercised in partnership with the headteacher and staff.

Being a school governor can assist with personal development, since governors get access to training and experience of a live boardroom situation and the satisfaction of supporting the community and children of Cambridgeshire. Being a school governor is an opportunity to use existing experiences and learn new skills.

The term of office for a school governor is normally four years. You will need to be able to give some time to prepare for and attend meetings. Most schools have a full governing body meeting twice a term (lasting about two hours) and you can also join a committee which usually meets once a term. You may be invited to make planned visits to the school.

Under employment law, employers may give employees who are school governors reasonable time off to carry out their duties. A governor would need to discuss having time off for governing body work with their line manager or employer.

Cllr David Harty, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Learning said: “I know from experience that being a school governor is a rewarding and fulfilling experience which plays a vital role in the success of a school. You need to have some free time, a willingness to learn and a commitment to helping improving children’s education. I would encourage anyone looking to develop new skills and experience to consider becoming a school governor.”

Anyone interested in becoming a school governor should contact please contact the School Governance Team email schoolgovernance@cambridgeshire.gov.uk