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Working Together to Secure Success

Become a Governor

Will you rise to the challenge and be a school governor within the Collaborative Learning Trust?

Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role.

It will give you the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people, develop your skills in a lively environment and give something back to your local community. You will also be joining the largest volunteer force in the country – there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England.

The Collaborative Learning Trust operates seven schools across Leeds and Bradford. We are a mixed multi-academy trust, which means we comprise community schools and Church of England schools. We’re always on the lookout for people keen to work with our schools to both support and challenge the way they work, to enrich the learning experience of our children.

Schools need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. Ofsted has repeatedly noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing board.

Anyone aged over 18 can be a governor and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have a formal understanding of the education system, just an enquiring mind, the ability to work as part of a team and the time to contribute and attend the half termly meetings. There is plenty of training available.

Schools need and benefit from a range of professional knowledge on their governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, estates management, and organisational change.

As a governor, you will be able to:

  • Use your own experiences of life beyond school to inform conversations
  • Develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment
  • Support and challenge the school so that it improves for pupils and staff.

What do governors do?

The governing body provides strategic leadership and accountability in schools. It has three key functions:

  • Making sure the school’s money is well spent
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.

Governors monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher.

Governors must be prepared to adopt the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

They should also be committed to their role and to children; confident in having courageous conversations; curious with an enquiring mind; able to challenge the status quo to improve things; collaborative to build relationships; critical to improve their own work and that of the board; and creative in problem-solving and being innovative.

What will be expected of me?

The average time commitment is five hours per month, although it will vary depending on the needs of the school and the role. This includes attendance at 6 committee meetings (one each half term) plus one strategic meeting, background reading and one termly school visit.

Like magistrates or members of a jury, school governors and trustees have a right to reasonable time off work for their public duties, although this may be unpaid. Your company’s HR department will be able to tell you about its policy.

The term of office for governors is four years. Many people choose to serve multiple terms. However, as a volunteer, you can resign before your term is finished, if your circumstances change.

Remember, governance is a voluntary role and therefore, it is not paid, but travelling expenses are available.