Justin Placide: co-chair of the Civil Service Race Forum and school governor

Justin Placide, Head of Home Energy Retrofit Enablers at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is the co-chair of the Civil Service Race Forum and the BEIS Faith and Minority Ethnic Network and volunteers at schools in East London. We asked Justin why he decided to become a governor, the benefits the role has brought both professionally and personally and the reasons why he recommends the role to others in the civil service.

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

I volunteered to become a school governor because I wanted to give back to my local community and the education sector. In addition, the role has also provided me with other benefits such as understanding governance and the opportunity to help build an inclusive environment for teachers, children and parents.

If you could pick one highlight of your time as a school governor, what would it be? Tell us about it…

In my role as a school governor, one of my highlights was my first visit to one of the schools I govern during the third lockdown. I had the opportunity to meet the teachers, children and parents. What really impressed me was how quickly the school adapted to meet the social distance guidance while still allowing the children to play and bond in their group bubbles.

What skills do you bring to the role of governor from your position in the civil service?

The skills I bring to the role of school governor from my Civil Service role ranges from effective communication, briefing, stakeholder engagement, conflict management and strategic thinking.

What skills do you bring back from your governance role to your position in the civil service?

The skills I bring from my governance role back into my position in the Civil Service are finance, governance, networking, stakeholder management, greater knowledge of the education sector and community issues.

What are the personal benefits of volunteering as a school governor?

Volunteering as a school governor has enabled me to meet some amazing and passionate people.  Access to Governor Hub and governor training courses have been very beneficial to my personal development.

Would you recommend the role to others?

I would highly recommend becoming a school governor, the role provides you with responsibilities that will challenge you and help your confidence grow. You get the opportunity to meet people who are passionate about how education can help, children, parents and the community that they live in, development and progress.

Want to join Justin and find out more about the role? We’d love to have you on board!

Read more about the role of school governor here