Amanda Walker: engineer and volunteer school governor

Amanda Walker BEngHons MIET is a manufacturing engineer at GE Aviation and volunteer school governor at a secondary school in Gloucester. Amanda tells us what inspired her to volunteer as a governor, the skills she brings to the board table from her engineering background, and the benefits the role brings to her both personally and professionally.

“My name is Amanda Walker, I am a manufacturing engineer at GE Aviation and I volunteer as a school governor at Barnwood Park, a co-educational secondary school in Gloucester. I started the role in September last year and I was interested in getting involved with this particular school as they had recently transitioned from all-girls to co-education, and I am really interested in helping to champion STEM subjects, and I felt I could bring value to the board.

What initially made you decide to volunteer as a school governor?

I received an email about Inspiring Governance through the Institution for Mechanical Engineers via my work as a STEM Ambassador, and it caught my attention: I wasn’t aware that there were governing boards in place at every school that manage regulatory requirements and make key decisions that impact the school and that there were voluntary positions available. I have a thirst for knowledge and understanding how things work (which probably explains why I’ve become an engineer!) and I felt inspired to find out more: everyone goes to school, and I thought it would be really good to challenge myself by learning something completely different and add another string to the bow.

What skills and insight have you brought to the governing board from your background in engineering?

Engineering is based around working in teams where collaboration and communication are key to success, and that experience has lent itself really well, especially going into something completely new (and during a pandemic!) Having an eye for detail has definitely been of benefit, especially when reviewing policy documents, making sure everything is standardised, clear and concise and adhering to regulatory standards.  I’ve been able to bring those aspects from my role which have really helped with my settling in period as part of the governance team.

Would you recommend the role of school governor to others in engineering?

Absolutely I would! I believe really passionately that education is one of the most important things in society, and making sure that good quality education is available for all is essential as it helps young people grow and gives the opportunity for the best start in life.

Being a school governor is something I am really proud of, knowing that I am part of the team that make decisions that impact future generations through their academic years. I would 100% recommend it.”

Would you like to get involved and help young people get the best start in life? 

Read more about the role of school governor here