Kate Aldworth, Research and Insight Officer at HMRC

Being a trustee is a challenging but rewarding role that allows you to make a real difference in the lives of children.

I know this from personal experience. I have been a trustee for Educate Together Academy Trust in the South West for the past two years, and a school governor for three years prior to that.

I have been responsible for establishing and ensuring a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction for our schools. I also hold school leaders to account for educational performance and ensure that the education and inclusion provision supports all our children.

I have been involved in Ofsted visits, complaint investigations, writing and approving policy, and many recruitment panels ranging from teachers to CEOs. I am currently Chair of the Professional Services Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the provision of HR, IT and Marketing services to schools in the trust. I am on the Education Committee and Pay Panel. I am co-lead for Safeguarding across the Trust and I’ve also now been elected Co-Chair of the Trust, which is a huge responsibility.

This has been a challenging but rewarding role. I have had to develop my strategic thinking, critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. I have also had to learn a lot about education policy and practice.

However, the rewards have been great. I have seen first-hand the difference that a good school can make to the lives of children. I have also had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of dedicated professionals who inspire me daily with their knowledge and expertise.

If you are thinking about becoming a governor, I encourage you to do it! It is a great way to: use your skills and experience to make a difference in the lives of children, grow professionally and personally, be intellectually challenged, and learn new skills.

Being a governor or trustee counts as a ‘public duty’, so you’re allowed ‘reasonable time off’ to fulfil the role. HMRC were also recognised as School Governor Champions in 2020, so they clearly value this volunteer role.

My trust is also recruiting for more trustees so please do get in touch with me if you would like any more information about the role!

If you are interested in becoming a trustee or governor, here are some tips:

  • Talk to your local school or academy trust to find out more about the role
  • Consider your skills and experience and how they could be used in a trustee or governor role
  • Be prepared to commit time and effort to the role
  • Be passionate about making a difference in the lives of children

I hope this has inspired you to consider becoming a governor or trustee!

Inspiring Governance connect professionals across the country with schools who need skilled volunteers to join their governing boards. Sign up as a school governor today!

Read more about the role of school governor here