Melissa Nash, business change specialist at HMRC and school governor

Why I became a school governor…

I’d moved to Bristol a year before and was looking for an opportunity to volunteer in the local community and get to know different people.  As most of the meetings are after work hours and volunteering leave can be taken for school visit days, it worked well around work and family life. It looked like a good match for some of my existing skills and also offered the opportunity to develop other skills relevant to my role in change and projects. I registered my details and shortly afterwards was contacted by the Chair of Governors of a couple of different schools. I spoke to each of them and ultimately decided to volunteer at Evergreen Primary Academy in Easton.

What was it like?

The Education sector possibly uses even more acronyms than HMRC! I sat through my first meeting slightly overwhelmed by all the terminology being used. Thankfully I was invited to some training run by the Multi Academy Trust, that Evergreen is part of, shortly after that which helped me make sense of what was being discussed and also gave me some insight into what to look out for and the types of questions to ask to challenge and hold the school leadership team to account. The other nice part of being in a Multi Academy Trust is that you can network with people in similar roles at other schools and share knowledge and learn from each other.

Apart from the termly governance meetings, I was invited into the school to see the day-to-day realities of how the school was run, how the children were learning and experience the culture of the school – that was really inspiring and enjoyable seeing the energy and enthusiasm of all the kids and the teachers.

What did I get out of it?

I felt like I was able to make a positive difference to the school and wider community it serves through my role. I met new people and learned about education from a different angle. It helped develop skills around constructively challenging and holding others to account, analysing data and working with a wider leadership team.

How to find out more if you’re interested in a similar role

I found my role via the Inspiring Governance service which matches schools looking to fill governor positions with volunteers. All you need to do is register and you can look for available roles in your area immediately – you can sign up using the button below!

Read more about the role of school governor here