Lauren, 22, decided to become a governor whilst working at the Department for Education. Surrounded by colleagues who were passionate about learning, Lauren was inspired to take the step to support her local school.
Before moving to Lincolnshire, Lauren grew up on the Isle of Wight, attending Trinity Middle School where her dad was a parent governor. Following her decision to sidestep a traditional academic route, Lauren embarked upon a Fast Track apprenticeship scheme with the Civil Service. Since then she hasn’t looked back.
‘It was on a three-day School’s induction information programme that I again heard about the role of Governors. I phoned my dad afterwards and asked him about his experience on a governing board. He was very positive, and I started doing some research for myself’.
It was then that Lauren found out about both the Inspiring Governance service and the Young Governors’ Network (a network designed specifically to assist governors under the age of 40), and as Lauren says, ‘when I saw that only 1% of governors were under the age of 25, I knew I wanted to break the mould’.
‘Forging alternative routes’
Lauren hopes to see more openness in forging alternative routes for young people, that are not necessarily focused on traditional academic routes.
‘Whilst university is great for some, for others it is a path that only sees a decline in wellbeing and not the ‘flourishing’ that the adverts speak of. As well as that, it’s hard not to notice the worrying trend in schools seeing young people struggling with mental health’.
And Lauren is looking to be a part of new initiatives which will help combat the issue.
Lauren’s experience using the Inspiring Governance service has been a positive one which settled her early reservations about her age and possible lack of experience.
‘I had a number of offers from schools in my locality and it was easy to filter out those that were either too far away or not quite what I was looking for. I was approached by the Chair of Governors from the school that I am currently working with through the platform and we quickly arranged a good time to meet for interview’.
Lauren is complimentary about the interview process, although she didn’t know what to expect.
‘The staff put me at ease’
‘I was unfamiliar with the school and also the level of formality needed from a governor. Fortunately, the staff put me at ease from the get-go, I had a school walk-around from the Headteacher.’
Lauren was not made to wait long before hearing back from the school. And has since had a governor review morning – a process similar to an Ofsted inspection which assesses the performance of a governing board – which had a very successful outcome.
‘I can recommend the process to those looking to try something new’, says Lauren, ‘and I hope it continues in the same way’.