Appeal for school governors

Colleagues are invited to consider becoming a school governor by signing up to the University scheme and making a positive contribution to society.

Paul Sharp, from the Educational Engagement Service, pictured with pupils at the primary school where he’s a governor

Paul Sharp, from the Educational Engagement Service, pictured with pupils at the primary school where he’s a governor. September 2019

At Leeds, we recognise the value of staff and alumni becoming school governors and the positive impact this has on individuals, children, communities and the University. By finding, nurturing and supporting a committed network of governors, we help to drive systematic change in how schools operate and raise school standards.

Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community and develop your skills in a board-level environment. 

There are currently 161 school governor vacancies across West Yorkshire. Can you help by using your skills to make a difference to children’s education in our region?

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: “Colleagues who give their time to school governance make a significant contribution to society.

“It is an essential and influential role in education, helping ensure success in young people’s futures.

“The skills and experiences staff gain through the role is also of significant importance to the University, both in meeting our civic commitments and in ensuring excellence in our own students’ education and experience at Leeds.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all colleagues currently fulfilling roles as school governors. Their commitment and dedication is greatly appreciated by the University and the communities they serve.”

'Chance to give something back' 

Colleagues and alumni have been sharing their thoughts about the benefits of being a school governor.

Professor Annie Wei, from Leeds University Business School (LUBS), volunteers as a school governor. September 2019Professor Annie Wei, from Leeds University Business School (LUBS), volunteers as a school governor 

Professor Annie Wei, from Leeds University Business School (LUBS), said: “I believe my professional qualities, international experience and my understanding of the school system through my child’s education placed me in a unique position to offer new ideas and different perspectives.

“The governor position also helps me better understand what is delivered in school. I can then take this knowledge back to the University to help improve our support to students making the transition to Leeds and their skills development for future career and personal development.”

Rachel Greenhalgh, from the School of Mathematics, has been a school governor for five years. September 2019Rachel Greenhalgh, from the School of Mathematics, has been a school governor for five years 

Rachel Greenhalgh, from the School of Mathematics, said: “I’ve been a school governor in Leeds for more than five years.

“I’m Chair Federation of three primary schools in north Leeds. I was motivated to become a governor as I wanted to invest my time in supporting the learning and development of children. As Executive Director of a national charity, UK Maths Trust, based at the University, whose aim is to advance the education of young people in mathematics, I understand how important good governance is to the success of an organisation. What I hadn't anticipated was how rewarding being a governor is and how much it has helped my own professional development.”

Paul Sharp, from the Educational Engagement Service, said: “I’ve been a governor at a primary school in Harehills for ten years.

“It was a chance to give something back. The fact the school was in a disadvantaged part of Leeds was further motivation, as I’m helping children from these backgrounds to succeed and progress. There’s a considerable need for governors in Leeds, particularly in the inner city, and your work input is appreciated by the school. You also gain by extending your knowledge and experience of the community in which you live and work.”

Deborah Berman, Leeds alumna, said: “I became a governor as I wanted to do something that developed my skills and experience at a more strategic level, whilst making a valuable contribution to the community. 

“Although I still feel as though I have lots to learn, the experience I’ve gained on the governing body has contributed to my career achievements. I’m proud to help my community and the role has made me happier, as I enjoy the work involved and feel a part of something important.”

Training and support

We are committed to ensuring newly appointed governors are effective in their roles as quickly as possible. Through our charity partner, Governors for Schools, all colleagues and alumni will have access to training and support from the start of their roles.

This includes a suite of e-learning modules, monthly webinars and six months’ free membership of The Key for School Governors, the trusted online information service that provides up-to-date intelligence, tools and resources for school governors. This is in addition to the University’s networking events with new and experienced school governors.

Apply to get involved

Colleagues interested in becoming a school governor, or who are already working with schools and are interested in networking opportunities, can register to be involved with the University School Governors Programme. See the programme webpages for further information or contact Amanda Jackson via email or by calling 0113 343 34073. 

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