In many schools across the UK, governors (and Trustees) are working in the background on important issues such as policy building and budgeting. Governors work with senior leaders and help to support teachers in order to maximise the level of education and support that children in the school get.
School governors have a number of responsibilities and through these, they can influence policy changes in a positive way. Below, we are going to look at how school governors can achieve this in their role. Read on to find out more.
What Are The Core Governor Responsibilities?
When a person becomes a school governor, they are committing to doing what they can to improve the school. They are required to attend governing body meetings that will focus on financial risks, school visions and of course, educational outcomes. School governors act as critical friends of those who are working within the school.
Some responsibilities that a governor has include ensuring financial priorities are kept in check. They will help to set the 3 year financial plan and work on the annual budget. They must also support leaders within the school and hold them accountable for their decisions. School governors are also required to set the strategic direction for their school. This can include formulating policies.
Use Business Experience To Benefit Schools
School governors are often business leaders and members of the school community. Often, governors will have experience in the commercial world and they can use this to benefit the schools that they work with. This business experience isn’t something that all educators have, as many move directly from training into a role as a teacher or a leader. Governors can draw on their experience when it comes to budgeting and setting strategies and goals. This business experience becomes extremely valuable in this case.
Some governors even use their positions to improve policies in schools. For example, AI Kingsley is Chair of a number of Multi Academy Trusts and has over 30 years of experience in technology and over 20 years in education roles. He acts as the Chair of Governor Leadership Group and is the Chair of Combined Authority Employment and Skills Board. His positions on these boards and combined experience allow him to make the right decisions and draw on his experience to influence policy changes that make a difference.
Offer A Fresh Perspective
Sometimes, ann external perspective can be all that it takes to look at a situation and come to a better conclusion. School governors might have a different kind of background than those within the school or other governors on the board. This fresh perspective can help them to offer advice and be critical of policies in order to determine the best possible course of action. It can be easy to get caught up in a debate within an organisation and so a fresh perspective can be beneficial to come to a conclusion that works for everyone. This is something that happens across many industries, not just education. However, when you consider that leaders are dealing with a child’s future, the debate becomes much more important. In this case, governors can act as a critical friend to those within the school leadership.
As members of the local community, they might also be able to look at a policy from the perspective of their neighbours and family members. Their perspective might be just what leaders have been looking for.
Provide Constructive Feedback On Policies
Policies that are set within a school must benefit the students and the education that they get. For this reason, each policy must be carefully created before it is implemented. If there is no risk assessment conducted before the policy is put in place, things might not go to plan. When policies are being discussed, school governors can influence the decision by providing constructive feedback on these. They aren’t there to criticise everything that the leaders do – they are there to benefit all parties involved.
Sometimes, constructive feedback can go a long way and is often more beneficial than strict criticisms. With constructive feedback to take on board, policies can be successful and ensure students get the best possible experience while at the school.
School governors hold important positions within a school community. With the responsibility to shape a schools vision and values, they must do all that they can to protect the future of all parties involved. Typically, their fresh perspective and business experience can be beneficial to the school. They can provide constructive feedback on strategies and aim to ensure the correct conclusions are drawn. If you believe that you could easily fit into a role as a school governor, you can apply via your local council or directly through your local school. This role is one that can be very rewarding.