“We aren’t a big governing board, so when both our chair and vice-chair stood down recently due to other commitments, we needed to find skilled people to co-opt,” says Alex Allison, headteacher of Broomfield Primary School in Leicestershire.
Alex learned about Inspiring Governance through a local charity. After having an initial conversation with the regional manager for Inspiring Governance about how to best use the service and to connect with suitable local volunteers, Alex made contact with two “very engaged people” who wanted to volunteer as a school governor. Alex met with the volunteers at the school to discuss what the role involves and what the volunteers were able to contribute. “After speaking to them I was confident about what they were able to offer in the role as well as in their motivations as to why they wanted to be a governor,” Alex says. What followed was “a quick process over the summer from them coming in to then being appointed”. Once she had spoken to the volunteers, Alex told the governing board about their background and motivation, and the governing board chose to co-opt them.
Alex’s experience demonstrates how using Inspiring Governance can unearth local people who are keen to make a difference to children and young people, and the range of reasons why people – who may not have a connection to the school – want to volunteer. “One of our new governors’ works in the criminal justice system, and in their role sees children in court. Their motivation for becoming a governor is to see how children start off in life to understand the journey they take and what might happen to begin the trouble which results in them being in that system,” Alex says. “Our other new governor works for a large public sector employer and has experience in change management and improvement. They were very motivated by doing something for the community.”
Of the new appointments, Alex says “though they have not been a governor before, our new volunteers are engaging”. “We wouldn’t have got such good quality without Inspiring Governance. It has been absolutely great – easy to contact volunteers and we got a really swift response. I can’t fault the service and have already recommended it to other schools,” Alex adds.