Volunteer Blog – Ben Hardy

Meet Ben Hardy.

Ben is a Relationship Manager at Schools North East , the country’s first and only school-led regional network in the UK. Currently, Ben is a governor at Atkinson Road Primary Academy, which is a part of the Laidlaw Schools Trust.

”I was keen to join the governing board of a local school because I wanted to give something back to the community and this felt like the best way to do this. My mother was a teacher working in SEND schools for 25 years, so when I started volunteering as a governor, I used this knowledge and experience and sat on boards at SEND schools as I felt already invested in special schools.

On top of this my experience working in education would give me the opportunity to provide schools with an existing knowledge base, as well as give me the chance to develop my own skills.

Currently, I volunteer at Atkinson Road Primary Academy, which is a part of the Laidlaw Schools Trust. I did have talks with a number of different schools when I moved to the North East because I wanted to see the broad range of governor opportunities out there but given that I live near Atkinson Road Primary, I feel I have a good understanding of the local area which can be a real asset when helping to set the strategic direction.

Equally, I have a strong sense of social justice and the Trust’s vision to help to transform the lives of children and communities though inspirational education really resonated with me.

I found Inspiring Governance easy and straight-forward to use with a variety of different schools to choose from. The matching service means that you are connected to schools that fit your criteria and vice versa, so it made for a smoother recruitment process. I found the Inspiring Governance staff to be very helpful in the process and have been able to utilise the NGA Learning Link as a refresher.

I always recommend governance, especially to my colleagues working in the education sector. The way I see it is: if you are willing to learn, then you have something to give.”

Laidlaw Schools Trust currently have open vacancies so if you are interested in becoming a school governor why not visit www.inspiringgovernance.org/volunteers to find out more.