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How to be a good school governor

Published Monday, 07 July 2014

This year Gordon Stubberfield is Enfield’s outstanding school governor.


As a governor of the Bowes Alliance (Bowes, Chesterfield and Bowes Annexe, Edmonton) Chair of governors at Southgate School, and a governor at De Bohun Primary School, which has recently come out of special measures, Gordon has a wealth of experience in supporting schools.

After 23 years as a governor, Gordon is clear about the requirements that make good school governors.

He says, “Governors should be interested in education and helping children develop. Dedication and reliability are essential and being prepared to make the time to be a governor with the desire to make a difference and drive improvement”

Governors set the direction and ethos of the school ensuring optimal achievement for all children. They must also have effective use and control of the finances.

He is emphatic when he says, “Governors should recognise and celebrate the successes, achievements and endeavours of individuals and the whole school.”

Gordon believes that governors can help schools to become ‘outstanding’.

“They should be well trained and fully understand the role of the governing body. They need a clear view of where the school is, what is required to be ‘outstanding’, how it is going to achieve it and how the governors are supporting the school to ensure it is achieved,” he says.

School governors are unpaid volunteers. Gordon is aware of this and says: “Governing does take up time. Some roles require as little as two or three evenings per term and maybe the occasional half day in school. However roles like the chair of committees or the governing body can require significant time commitments.

“As a governor, I enjoy making a difference to children’s futures; recognising and celebrating their progress and achievements; visiting lessons and seeing the learning process actually happen; helping the school solve problems to improve; developing education for the community.”

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