Please click on the question to view Alan's answers.
- Q1.Why do you feel it is important to get involved in education and what persuaded you to become a governor?
- I became a Governor because it allows me to help others at such a crucial stage in their lives, and to give back to the community in which I work the benefit of some of the skills I acquired in life through, amongst other things, going to a good school.
- Q2.Please describe the type of school you are in e.g. primary, secondary, fresh-start, special measures etc. Please also describe your first impressions and how you were welcomed.
- I am a governor at a primary school in the East End of London which, in addition to the usual quota of children, has a number of Special Educational Needs pupils. Helping these children makes the role of governors even more gratifying. I was warmly greeted when I first arrived, given a show around of the school, introduced to teachers and generally made to feel very welcome. It was certainly not the intimidating experience which I had anticipated. At my first few meetings, concepts and strategies (as well as all the abbreviated terms) were explained to me and I was introduced to the role of a governor in a very measured way.
- Q3.How long do you spend on governor duties each month and how often do you attend meetings?
- Meetings are once a term, with a special committee meeting (which I elected to sit on), also about once a term. I spend about one to two hours on governor duties per month.
- Q4.Have you received any training? If so, how have you found it and how flexible is it?
- I did attend a workshop introducing me to the role of governor, as well as a talk on the Ofsted Inspection. The training was quite thorough and very interesting, although, of course, there is no substitute for the experience of attending meetings and dealing with ‘live’ issues.
- Q5.What challenges have you faced and how do you feel your skills from the world of work have helped you as a school governor?
- My analytical legal skills have helped me to work on the school’s budget and review documentation to be sent to parents (annual reports and so on). Challenge-wise, the board has been quite fortunate and we haven’t really had anything too serious to deal with. From a personal perspective, the biggest challenge which I have found was getting to grips with the role of governor. To deal with this, I spoke with fellow governors, reviewed the various websites which are available to assist governors in this regards, and went on the workshop provided by the borough.
- Q6.Please describe the benefits that you gain, as an individual, from being a school governor?
- I have gained an enormous sense of satisfaction at seeing the school go from strength to strength, consistently achieving good results and producing well-rounded, bright pupils. My role as a governor has also allowed me to get more in touch with the ‘real world’ and the very real issues that exist and has provided me with a greater insight into the community in which I work.”