Meet Christine Bower.
With a background in education, having been a primary teacher and then headteacher for 20 years, she retired in August 2017. Christine is married with two grown-up children and enjoys running and walking in the hills where she lives.
Contribution to Education
When Christine retired, she decided to do some voluntary work and School Governance seemed an obvious thing to become involved in, given her experience.
‘I wanted to continue to contribute to education as I passionately believe that it is only through education that social mobility and change can happen’.
During her time on the Governing Board, she hoped to improve the life chances of the children within the school’s care, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
Ethos and Values
Christine says: ‘this is achieved by a focus on the vision we have set for the school ensuring that decisions we make are aligned with this and with our ethos and values.
I aim to ensure that the board does not get distracted from this core work, supporting and challenging school staff in equal measure as strategic plans are implemented. It is also important to be aware of the current stress placed on headteachers and teachers currently and I work with my senior leaders with workload in mind’.
Christine found the Inspiring Governance service to be straight-forward to use.
Making a Difference
‘I had used the Inspiring Governance website to find governors for my own school and so I registered with the site. Initially, I did not hear from any schools for about three months and I was about to approach some schools directly when I had three schools approach me within a couple of weeks. I was therefore able to select the school that best met my areas of expertise and where I could make a difference’.
During the interview, Christine gave a short talk on why she wanted to be a Governor at the school and was asked some follow up questions, the answers she had prepared in advance.
‘I was then contacted the following morning to say they would like me to start immediately’.
And Christine would recommend school governance!
‘I would recommend considering becoming a Governor no matter what experience or background you have. Governing Boards need a range of people with different skills and perspectives.
The role of a Governor is very important with a wide range of responsibilities, but it is very satisfying as long as you have some spare time to prepare for and attend meetings and to occasionally visit the school during the school day. It is possible to make a positive contribution to the outcomes for children in the school and this is rewarding’.