Help raise the calibre of school leavers (and boost your business) by becoming school governors, businesses told

By Anita Jaynes on 7 October, 2015

Business people in Swindon and Wiltshire are being urged to help raise the calibre of the next generation of employees by supporting their own staff to become school governors.

There are currently vacancies for 80 governors in Swindon’s schools alone.

The role of a school governing body is to champion outstanding standards of education for all pupils, by working with school leaders to set the strategic direction of the school. Their responsibilities include holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students, and to ensure that the school’s finances are managed effectively.

In the future, Swindon and Wiltshire’s economy is going to be dependent on a  strong cohort of school leavers who are personally and educationally equipped to being successful careers in a range of industries, including construction, advanced manufacturing, engineering, IT and health and social care, to name but a few.

Governing bodies that are populated by high calibre individuals perform well, adding value to their schools and driving up standards, and producing “work-ready” school leavers for regional and local employers.

But Dr Bridget Sinclair, governor support manager for Swindon Borough Council, says there is plenty of evidence that employers can also benefit from supporting their colleagues to become governors.

“By joining a governing body that counts very senior and experienced business leaders among its number, more junior but able individuals soon begin to acquire board-level strategic leadership skills, and the experiences of working as a senior team –  assets they might not otherwise develop until much later in their careers,” says Dr Sinclair.

“These valuable skills, which come at no direct cost to employers, are brought back into the workplace where they will not only enhance the performance of the governor/employee, but can also be passed on to other members of the workforce.”

Dr Sinclair’s service have teamed up with several partners to hold an event for employers to learn more about supporting employees to be governors. Running from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday November 10, it will be held at Intel Corporation (UK) Limited’s HQ at Piper’s Way, Swindon, SN3 1RJ.

The event is being supported by Influence, the organisation that acts as Swindon’s collective business voice, Intel Corporation (UK) Ltd, Business West Swindon Initiative, Swindon Borough Council and SGOSS, the charity that recruits volunteers to serve on governing bodies.

To book a place at the event, or find out more about volunteering as a school governor, email Dr Bridget Sinclair at bscinlair@swindon.gov.uk or call 01793 463064.