Friday, 2 September 2011

Breaking the stereotype of a School Governor

Kate Bishop has just started a voluntary role on the board of governors at Holly Spring Junior School in Bracknell, and highlights exactly why you don't need to fit the stereotype. Kate is the Head of HR for computer retail giant, Dell; she's a young professional woman with no children and no previous experience working with them. What she does have, however, is heaps of transferable skills and an exceptional insight into how governance can benefit organisations.
"Understanding how governance works is important to any organisation – whether it be a private company or a school," she says. "The school needs to know when it should be making changes internally and when to rely on the Local Education Authority (LEA).
"I help to bring an outside perspective on how things are done in private industry. I also offer a more neutral view as I can remain a bit more detached than the parents and teachers.
In our last meeting we were looking at our spending priorities. The school needs a new roof and new windows, but may not have the money for both. There are funding initiatives for schools that are reducing their energy consumption, so the governors need to be aware of these and make sure they are being linked up. So, in this instance, it might be better to fix the roof first in order to prove we are taking measures to reduce energy consumption. These are the kind of decisions that reflect the work that I do every day at Dell."

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