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Volunteer to make schools successful for everyone

29 January 2021

Become a school governor in England to use and grow your professional skills.

Volunteer to make schools successful for everyone

Did you know you could contribute to ICE’s education and inspiration programme in a strategic local role? Becoming a school governor can help us in the engineering industry better understand schools and shape improved educational outcomes, whilst also providing valuable personal and professional development for you as an individual.

ICE already engages closely with teachers to inspire the next generation to consider careers in civil engineering through our STEM ambassador programme. Now, we’re partnering with Inspiring Governance in England to promote the benefits of volunteering as a school governor.

Making schools successful for everyone?

Having a good quality education has a huge impact on the future life chances of children and young people. Governing boards make significant decisions about schools to ensure they are successful for every pupil. A school governing board needs volunteers drawn from across the school’s community that bring different skills, experience and perspectives to the table. Anybody over 18 can be a governor and you don’t have to be a parent.

It is estimated there is at least one vacancy on every school governing board in England and if you consider there are over 23,000 schools that’s a lot of empty seats around the board table.

As a school governor, you’ll be a role model for children thinking about their future in the workplace. It is a strategic role, and like any board position, it should be approached as “eyes on and hands off”. The three core functions of a governing board are:

  • Agreeing a long-term strategy for ensuring compliance of the schools clarity of vision, ethos and culture
  • Holding executive and senior leaders to account for the conduct and educational performance of the school and it’s pupils
  • To oversee the financial performance of the school and agree the budget and staffing structure required to deliver the strategy

There are many benefits of being a school governor, not least of all how rewarding it can be investing time, energy and skills to make a real difference to the education and futures of children and young people and to serve your community. It’s also a great way to apply and refine your professional skills and to grow new networks and can count towards your CPD.

Another potential benefit of more engineers getting involved in supporting school governance is that it will certainly raise the pressing importance of STEM subjects at a strategic level within education.

Inspiring Governance is a government backed governor recruitment service connecting volunteers with schools in England. It is run by the charity Education and Employers who provide 12 months of individual CPD accredited training and support for all newly appointed governors, provided by sector experts the National Governance Association (NGA).

Already a governor? We want to hear from you

If you are already a school governor / trustee and would be interested in sharing your insights with fellow members, we’re planning a webinar with Inspiring Governance and would love to hear from you at [email protected].

School governors in the rest of the UK

Other UK nations have school governors too:

And if you’re applying to become a school governor through any means do let us know so we can offer advice and networking opportunities in the future: [email protected]

Find out more about volunteering with ICE.

  • Kathryn Denham-Maccioni, digital engagement manager at ICE