How can you give…..volunteer as a School Governor?
(6 October 2017)
In the run up to #Giving Tuesday, an international day of doing good stuff for charity, we are running a series of articles promoting ways in which the University can support you in donating your time, skills or money to help causes close to your heart.
This week we consider the School Governor Initiative which encourages and supports University staff and alumni to volunteer as a School Governor, something which makes a real difference to the leadership of state schools and significantly improves the life chances of children. It also helps those working as Governors to develop their own skills and gain new experiences.
Steve Jones, Senior Lecturer at Manchester Institute for Education in SEED, highlights why he signed up to the initiative:
"I became a School Governor in 2014 because I wanted to try my hand in a different kind of educational context. I joined Burnage Academy for Boys, and I see my role as primarily supportive. The teachers that work in the school do so under really challenging conditions. The majority of pupils don't have English as their first language, which makes it difficult for them to fulfil their potential in written exams, and the school operates under the constant threat of funding cuts. It's helpful for the head teacher and his senior leadership team to talk through the issues that affect the school with governors, and for us to suggest new ideas.
"The time commitment is substantial, but the rewards are greater. I've helped with activities at school, attended plays and performances, and invited pupils on to our campus for social responsibility and widening participation events. It benefits me in multiple ways, from engaging with school-teachers in conversations about pedagogy to putting the difficulties we face in Higher Education into perspective. I'd recommend the School Governor Initiative to any colleague."
To find out more you are invited to attend an informal information session on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 from 12.15pm in G.35/36 of the Arthur Lewis Building. Lunch will be provided and all academic and PSS colleagues are welcome. Please RSVP to Claire Lloyd for catering purposes.
You can also hear more about colleague’s experiences of being a governor in this week’s Spotlight On…feature.