Being a school governor


Operation Black Vote and Lewisham Council are currently running the 2011 Lewisham Civic Leadership Programme in which 40 dynamic Black and Ethnic Minority individuals from Lewisham have been selected to find out more about five different areas of public life. The recent focus has been looking at school governing bodies and their roles and responsibilities.

Thirty year old Boma Campbell, a programme member writes about her experience at a recent observation session.

Boma writes: I was pleased to have the opportunity to sit in on a School Governor Meeting at a Lewisham primary school this week. It was good to hear things from the perspective of those who run a school as opposed to that of a pupil or prospective parent.

The meeting we attended was interesting and useful, but unfortunately we could not witness any decisions being made, because there were not enough governors in attendance. This is not a usual occurrence but nevertheless I suspect their next meeting, likely to be in September now, will be rather long with double the business to get through!

From the observation, it was clear that good teachers care about each student and also the school as a whole, and the Head must have a long term view, considering the current academic year and the school's future. I noted that the Headteacher would welcome having a Board of Governors that was more representative of the children they taught and their families. This does of course bring many benefits to the table - the different perspectives and particular understandings to name but a few.

The number of meetings that take place each term vary from school to school - generally it is one or two per term. Attending the meeting certainly strengthened my resolve to become a School Governor. I realised that if you are like me and interested in education, want to help local children achieve their potential regardless of social economic background or other factors, BUT you don't fancy actually teaching, this is a really good way to make an impact.

I'm sure it would be very rewarding and I would encourage anyone who has thought about it to look into it and take action.

I must say thanks to Lineth Allen, who works for the Governors Services for Lewisham Council - her list of acronyms came in very useful - I knew what a SIP was!