Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the country – including that of the school governor. It’s a time to recognise the time, expertise and passion that school governors give – and say a huge thank you!
We spoke to Ayed Galeb, Senior Buyer at the Department for Education, about why he decided to get involved in volunteering as a governor, how the role has helped him in the workplace, allowed him to meet amazing people – and why others in the civil service should take the plunge and get involved too.
What initially inspired you to become a governor?
I’ve always wanted to become a governor at some point in my life and give back to society and specifically to schools and children. The desire to become a governor started when I was back in education – however, since I joined the DfE I was inspired even more, especially when seeing many of my colleagues being governors and showcasing the benefits and the rewards of giving back to the community.
What skills have you taken from volunteering as a school governor back into DfE? How has this helped you in your role?
There are many things that I have gained from being a governor, both personal and professional, in my current role in the DfE. The main skills that I have gained are leadership skills at a board level and transferable skills such strategic thinking and financial management at a school level, plus understanding of how the DfE and schools work together to provide quality education to our pupils.
Before becoming a governor I had limited knowledge of how schools and DfE work together, however since then I have understood the relationships between both and how the DfE makes a difference in children’s lives.
What have been the personal benefits to volunteering as a governor so far?
I have had the chance to meet some amazing people, advocate for the importance of wellbeing for children and teachers, and help to make a difference by ensuring the school achieves value from their purchases. As well as understanding governance, how schools are run, stakeholder management, building relationships with different organisations and the other benefits of being a part of a governing board that is directly affecting and shaping the next generation.
Would you recommend the role of school governor to others in the DfE or the civil service?
Since becoming a governor, I have advocated the volunteer role in my role at the DfE and as such I would highly recommend anyone to become a school governor, whether you are in the civil service or not. The role is very rewarding as it provides you with responsibilities that will challenge you, provides invaluable experience to help with future career progression and helps you to develop transferable skills that will equip with to become a leader in your career aspirations. The role of governor also provides you with opportunities to meet various people, engage with exciting and interesting projects/challenges and help grow your confidence.
Huge thanks to Ayed for helping to make a difference through volunteering as a school governor!
Want to find out more about the role and sign up?Read more about the role of school governor here