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Applying to be a School Governor

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Hi Chloe, it is great to speak to you – what course and year are you in?

My name is Chloe, and I am currently studying my 1st year of Early Childhood Studies.

What Graduate+ awards have you completed and how long did it take you to do?

I completed my Bronze award in the Graduate+ week, it was a busy week, but I wanted to take the opportunity to do as many activities as possible, to really help me get to grips with my work. But also open some potential opportunities.

I heard that you have applied to be a School Governor, how did you hear about this opportunity?

I attended the Join the 250,000: Schools Governors are people like you workshop in Graduate+ week. Richard the host was extremely informative and was very helpful with any questions I or the other attendees had.

He explained the process of becoming a School Governor and what the role entails. Governors are there to hold the school and teachers accountable for the education of the children in their care. They must act with the children as the only focus.

Why did you decide to apply?

As I am completing Early Childhood Studies, with the view to become a year 2 teacher and to ultimately become a headteacher. I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to see how much the Head is made accountable. More particularly what areas do governors find important. It goes without saying that each school excels in areas and may struggle in others, but I am hoping this experience will make me aware of tools/processes that may make my career in teaching that little bit easier. I also what to play a part in helping the education of children before I personally can contribute to it in a classroom setting.

What steps did you need to complete to become a School Governor?

You register your interest on Inspiring Governance - Become a School Governor and there is a short registration form to complete. Where you provide a cover letter about yourself and your interest in becoming a governor. You can select primary or secondary schools as a preference, I selected primary.

You submit your postcode, and schools if they are recruiting will email an invitation for you to view the school. I had a face to face meeting the head teacher and was given a tour of the school. Along with a brief overview of the current changes within the school.

Once confirming I wanted to be a governor of that school, you are sent an invitation to sign up to the Governors hub. This is an online platform where all meeting notes, and questions are posted along with reports from the headteacher.

I am due to have my first Governors meeting Tuesday 25th January, where I will meet the rest of the board. Once I am settled, I could go down a more focused route within the general board. Whether that be the curriculum committee or the financial committee. This responsibility obviously takes more of my time, so I will have to ensure I can commit to both this role and my course.

These roles tend to come with a service time, but the general committee holds no minimum or maximum time served. There are regular meetings which happen at least once a month time for general meetings, and these are an hour of my time. There is paperwork to read before and afterwards, but the role should not take more than 8-10 hours of time every month, which I can easily make space for.

Have you been involved with any other extracurricular activities whilst at university?

Only the Graduate+ week activities, so far. However, I have signed up to the Early Years Careers Pathway Project where I will be looking to complete modules based around management and protection within Early Years settings.