Headlines: February 20th, 2009

A charity which aims to help local education authorities to fill vacancies for school governors is urging more young people to take on the role. School Governors’ One Stop Shop is campaigning for 18 to 25-year-olds to become governors in schools across England.

The push for younger people to join governing bodies coincides with Student Volunteers Week, which begins Monday. SGOSS will be actively recruiting younger governors by sending out information and application forms to universities and libraries.

The charity says younger people have recent knowledge of what it school is like and of the decisions that need to be made in terms of education at grass roots level. Holly Saunders, the charity’s marketing executive, said, “It’s a preconception that to be a school governor you have to be a certain age or a certain type of person. This really shouldn’t be the case, as anybody over the age of 18 who is a legal UK citizen and has around six to eight hours spare per month can volunteer in this capacity.”

She said those who did volunteer could learn new skills they could use in their workplace. “By volunteering as a governor, young people can receive training in a number of fields such as marketing, finance, recruitment and management, adding to the CV,” Ms Saunders said.

There are 350,000 volunteer governor places in England and the charity says that at any time about 40,000 of these are unfilled. SGOSS has worked with employers and communities, serving governors and Local Authorities to place more than 7,500 volunteers into schools. Caroline Davison, who became a governor after graduating said, “I had been through 17 years of education. I felt I could offer my skills, as well as my experience of the education system, to others. School, college and university were still a fresh memory, and I had a lot to offer any school that would have me.”