Schools, including academies, in the Medway towns and surrounds are always looking for great people to volunteer to get involved in their governance and help ensure that young people get the education they need to ensure they succeed in later life.
Schools now operate a variety of governance structures and vacancies exist at every level including as Multi Academy Trust trustees, with governance responsibility for several schools, Local governing or advisory boards within those trusts and as governors in Local Authority maintained schools.
In every instance the responsibility is a corporate one, which means that no individual has personal authority or accountability (other than to the board) but that authority and accountability rests with the governing board as a whole
School governance is not a full-time job but does involve a time commitment. The exact commitment will vary depending on the school or Trust's circumstances but is usually in the order of between 60 and 80 hours per year, mostly during school term time. This time is mainly spent reading papers; attending meetings and training; getting to know the school and understand the community it serves; and carrying out occasional monitoring visits, normally a maximum of three per year. Governors and trustees may also be called upon to serve on panels to review decisions made by the school relating to student discipline, or arbitrating on matters where the school's internal procedures have been exhausted. Unsurprisingly given the size of the school populations, these panels tend to arise more frequently in secondary rather than primary schools. Meeting times vary from school to school but are often in the evening.
Although voluntary, the role is very much a serious one as a key part of the strategic leadership of the school or Trust. Time is mostly spent with other adults engaged in defining ambitious but realistic longer term organisational aims; setting broad policies that provide parameters for the executive leader ( CEO or headteacher) to work within; checking on progress or compliance; and holding the executive leader to account for both achievement of those aims as well as for securing excellent educational outcomes for children in the school(s) today - all within the financial resources available. In short, executive leaders run the school or group of schools but governance make sure they run well to meet the current and future needs of the community they serve .
While children and young people are at the very heart of what school governance is, this is not a role for those primarily interested in lots of interaction with them. Their safeguarding however, is our number one priority and as such all governors are required to undergo a disclosure and barring check to confirm their suitability to volunteer in this field.
(Schools are always crying out for volunteers to help with reading, fundraising and all manner of other activities, so if this rather than governance is your interest, please do contact your local school(s) and ask about any opportunities available)
You don't need a background in education or be a high flying executive to make a successful contribution to school governance, but you will need to be over 18 with some essential skills and attributes.
Chief among these are:
Individuals who bring specific skills and/or successful experience related to any of the following areas in addition to those listed above are particularly encouraged to put themselves forward. It is not expected that these skills are used in any kind of pro bono sense, rather to equip the board with the knowledge to underpin its decision-making and ask more of the right questions when supportively challenging the executive leadership, as well as identify when the school or the board itself should engage professional advice.
While its never a good idea to get involved in school governance just to further your career, it would be a mistake to ignore its potential to provide excellent professional development for those aspiring to leadership roles in both schools and other fields.
We particularly encourage school middle and senior leaders aspiring to headship to gain a wide range of governance experience, preferably in a school other than that in which they work.
We also very much welcome interest from university students and young professionals who are willing to commit at least two years to a governing board to bring a younger perspective - You'll get a great grounding in strategic leadership in return!
If you are ready to express your interest, please have a look at the disqualification criteria at the bottom of the page just to check you are eligible to stand, then submit your details by completing the questionnaire at this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/58QRJYX
When we receive your completed questionnaire, we will make your details available anonymously to governing boards with vacancies, taking into account any preferences you may have and where possible matching your skill and experience set to their expressed needs. As a governing board indicates an interest, we will contact you to confirm you are happy for us to pass your contact details to a the chair or clerk of that governing board, who will normally then make arrangements for you to visit the school for an informal discussion and to see the school at work. We will NEVER pass on your contact details without your express permission.
Alternatively, if you need a little more information before you make up your mind, please get in touch with Marianne.email@example.com or give her a call on 01634 957782