Mark Holliday

Mark, from Fylde, Lancashire, has worked within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the past 12 years. In that time, he has held a variety of different roles within Operations.

‘I have worked as a telephone agent, an admin officer, a decision maker, a national fraud contact, a team leader, and have been involved in recruitment – shifting through applications and interviewing’.

Chance for further development

‘I decided to become a governor after attending Civil Service Live (a yearly celebration of the achievements of the Civil Service) and had a lovely discussion with the lady on the stand for Inspiring Governance’. I told her how I was finding it difficult to find new opportunities to further develop myself within my present role and was looking for something outside of my department’.

Vast opportunities

Inspiring Governance discussed with Mark how much you can learn and participate in when serving as a governor – and the vast opportunities for professional development.

‘The process was easy, having given my email address, I received contact quickly and registered in my local area. Having been contacted by about opportunities in some primary schools, I attended a meeting with the CEO of Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), and a senior governor serving on the board’.

During the meeting, it became clear to Mark that all parties shared common ground and that his skills would be of use. Although offered a few different schools, Mark opted for Westminster Academy as it is situated in a less fortunate area of Blackpool and has struggled with student retention but had been performing well under new leadership. Mark felt he could add value with a different view on things going forward.

Attachment to the school

‘Although it is early days for me as a governor, I already feel an attachment to the school, and the leadership team. It has been an eye opener from the start at how much goes on behind the scenes in our schools and how important the role of governor is in the process’.

Mark also feels a sense of pride knowing that as part of the governors’ team, holding the school’s leadership to account, he has a positive impact on infrastructure and  equipment spending decisions, food standards and, above all else, improving the education of pupils.

‘I feel my own skills have helped me settle in quickly to the role and contribute in a positive way, influencing decisions on purchases of equipment and building projects within the school’.

A real impact

I would recommend anyone who wants to put something back to sign up to become a governor especially from other businesses and sectors as your skills can have a real impact on the next generation and those beyond.