I became a school governor two years ago now because I was looking for something which would give back to the community and would help me develop a few skills too.
Living in a great part of London, I was increasingly aware of the fantastically diverse community and extreme juxtapositions around me, but didn’t feel very connected to it all.
I’d also been recently working on BBC News School Report but am not a parent so felt I had something to learn as well as something to give to the experience.
At the same time I heard about SGOSS - Goverors for Schools, and how there was a push to get more ‘professionals’ into the school governing bodies so I applied via their website and was matched with Edward Wilson Primary within weeks.
Since joining the governing body it has been really great to have ideas and support changes which benefit the students and the community where I live.
Having moved from School Report to the News Group Change team, my line managers have also been really supportive of the role and letting me have occasional time off for school visits and meetings…..and who knew our jobs could set us up so well for all the lively debate, strategic thinking.. and of course the meetings.
In the short time I’ve been at Edward Wilson, I’ve met some fantastically bright, sparky people – mostly the little people but some of the grown-ups too! I’ve also been part of some pretty responsible and impactful changes - being a part of the panel to recruit a new Headteacher, helping to launch a PTA, making a film, becoming Vice Chair of the governing body, introducing and awarding a governor’s award for the students at the school and even being interviewed as part of the schools’ recent successful Ofsted inspection.
Being a school governor has really opened my eyes, really helped me recognise my strengths and grow where I’m a bit weaker. It submerges you into a really interesting environment; flexing your mind to find solutions between the financials, community issues, attainment targets and opportunities. So, for anyone who thinks it might be something they’d fancy trying, I’d say go for it! It’s great - and sometimes a bit scary (in a good way) - to have your skills tested in a completely different field.
*BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility is the department that connects the BBC to those audiences we find harder to reach. One of the ways we do this is by offering volunteering opportunities to staff around the country which allow them to use their skills while supporting various causes and meeting our audiences. School governance is a great example of this as it allows our staff to develop leadership, communication and negotiating skills, outside of the workplace. It also helps the BBC to be part of a local community and in return, staff bring back new ideas, contacts and stories which we aim to reflect in programme making.