As part of the Government’s ‘Take a Closer Look’ Campaign, which seeks to encourage more young people to consider engineering careers, the IMechE is actively encouraging its members to become school governors and trustees. Our members can use the Inspiring Governance programme, to join local school governing boards and make a positive impact on the lives of young people.
What can engineers contribute?
Engineers are typically well suited to the role of school governors and possess a unique skill set, expertise and experiences that could really benefit a school governing board:
- Ability to challenge and ask questions;
- Strategic leadership and project management;
- Creative problem solving and seeking improvements;
- Experience of technical and vocational education;
- Being collaborative and working as a team;
- Curiosity, innovation and an analytical approach.
Why get involved?
Working as part of a governing board, you will be able to help shape the strategic direction of a school. You will oversee the school’s performance, its budget and act as guardians of its vision and values. You will also challenge and support the head teacher and help them as they raise standards throughout the school.
By volunteering as a school governor, you will be uniquely placed to show young people how rewarding, enjoyable and relevant a career in engineering can be. This will enable you to promote engineering to the next generation and provide the ideal opportunity for continued STEM outreach.
This might be by:
- Working with the senior leadership team to develop an engineering strategy;
- Liaising with careers leads;
- Making links with organisations and industry who can help provide speakers, work shadowing or direct experiences to give young people first-hand experience of engineering.
Benefits of volunteering:
- Developing your professional skills and experience such as strategic planning, chairing, financial planning, and team working, all of which are valued by employers and can assist your own career development
- Building relationships and networks in your locality
- Supporting children and young people in your community
Lydia Amarquaye CEng MIMechE, Professional Development and Education Policy Advisor said:
”The IMechE see its collaboration with ‘Education and Employers’ as an endorsement of what is possible through our volunteers and members. The work of a school governor facilitates a direct connection between school and industry, helping to keep engineering on the agenda within education. Our members will also benefit from the experience of helping to develop strategic leadership as well as using analytic approaches to problem solving.”
What is required?
Typically, the commitment will be to meet each half term with additional monitoring visits to see the school in action and speak to teachers and pupils, alongside preparing for meetings and undertaking training and development.
How to sign up:
The Inspiring Governance programme matches volunteers with a school local to where you live or work. You will also be able to search for local governing board vacancies and contact any schools you are interested in volunteering at.
Specifically for 18-40 year olds, there is the Young Governor Network.
To support you in your new governance role:
- You will receive a complimentary copy of the induction guide Welcome to Governance, produced by the National Governance Association
- You can access our resources page with handy links to key documents and resources from the NGA and the DfE around the governance role
- If aged under 40 then you are able to join the National Governance Association’s Young Governor Network.
- Your board will support your induction with access to a local or national training offer provided by your local authority, diocese, academy trust or the NGA. They may also provide a buddy scheme, pairing you up with a more experienced governor for your first term in role.