Leeds School Governor Stories

One year on from the  University of Leeds launching its School Governors Programme we have met staff and alumni to hear their school governor stories.  We learned that no two school governors are the same but what unites them is their passion and desire to make a difference to children’s education and give them the best possible opportunities in life.  Read on to find out what governance means to each volunteer and why we are calling on more staff and alumni to become a school governor. Start your school Governor story today!

“I’ve been a school governor in Leeds for over five years. I’m Chair of Sphere Federation – a group of three primary schools in north Leeds. My motivation for being a governor was simple – I wanted to invest my time in supporting the learning and development of children; for them to have the best education possible, and to leave primary school as healthy individuals with happy memories and a wealth of learning experiences. As Executive Director of a national charity based here at the University of Leeds, 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.”

Rachel Greenhalgh, UK Mathematics Trust

“I have a strong interest in student education and I have increasingly felt the need for closer collaboration between schools and universities; therefore I am committed to invest my time on a new journey. The Governor position offers me an opportunity to help with improving schools. I believe that my professional qualities, international experience and my understanding of the school system through my child’s education place me in a unique position to offer new ideas and different perspectives to Leeds City Academy Local Accountability Board. The governor position would also help me better understand what is delivered in schools and take this knowledge back to the university to help improve our offering of support to students making the transition to the university and their skill development for future career and personal development.”

Professor Annie Wei, LUBS

“I became a governor back in January 2014.  I wanted to do something that developed my skills and gave me experience at a more strategic level, and I value contributing to the community.  I was placed as a Local Authority governor with a local primary school and was then later co-opted to remain on the governing body when the roles changed. I now chair one of the committees, and although I still feel as though I’ve lots to learn (the education landscape keeps changing!). I have since changed jobs, and my experience on the governing body certainly contributed to that achievement.  In terms of personal life, it’s made me happier: I’m proud to help my community, I enjoy the work involved, and I feel a part of something important.”

Deborah Berman, Leeds Alumna

I have two children at primary school, now in Year 2 and Year 5, and they both love school. I wanted to give something back to the school and help it to be a brilliant, nurturing, supportive place for our kids to be happy and learn loads on the way. I was keen to serve the wider community in an environment where children from all backgrounds are valued. Many staff at the university have experience of curriculum development, interviewing prospective staff, managing budgets, monitoring student progress, giving strategic direction. We’re used to both providing and receiving constructive criticism, challenging ourselves and others within an encouraging and supportive environment, reflecting on our own and others’ practice, and asking pertinent questions – skills that are important for any school governor. Skills and insight that we take for granted, are really valuable to our local schools.”

Darren C Greenwood, School of Medicine.

“My background is in teaching and worked for many years in the School of Education, University of Leeds. I have been a governor at Bankside Primary, Harehills, for 10 years. It has kept me in touch with schools and education which have been my life’s work. It was a chance to give something back. The fact that the school was in a disadvantaged part of Leeds was further motivation, as I am committed to trying to help more children from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed and to progress.There is a considerable need for governors in Leeds particularly in the inner city. Your work input is appreciated by school staff. You have the chance to meet pupils and talk with them. This opportunity is likely to extend your knowledge and experience of the community in which you live and work. Don’t hesitate to get involved.”

Paul Sharp, Educational Engagement.

“I became a school Governor because I wanted to make sure that my school has effective leadership to thrive and give every student the opportunity for achieving their potential.”

Majid Khan, Facilities Directorate

Staff and Alumni interested in becoming School Governors can register with our charity partner Governors for Schools here. Someone from the charity will be in touch about next steps with being matched with a school.  Good luck!

Christmas Shutdown

On Christmas Day 2017 the University campus alone used enough electricity to cook 15,004 turkeys – that’s almost 2 for each staff member!

As a University, we have a responsibility to lower our carbon emissions and the Christmas Shutdown period gives us the perfect chance to demonstrate our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment. This year, the Christmas shutdown period runs from Friday 21st December 2018 to Tuesday 2nd January 2019, a full 11 days! By remembering to switch off all lighting and non-essential equipment over this period we can make a collective difference and also raise awareness of the need to cut carbon.

On Christmas Day last year, we managed to save 83,853kWh more energy than we did on the  25th in the previous year. Although we did save this extra energy, we still managed to use 305,649 kWh which is enough energy to drive around Britain’s coastline 244 times in a Tesla!

This is what you can do to help:

Before you leave for the Christmas break, check all lighting and IT equipment is turned off, including screens and projectors; and ensure that all non-essential lab and research equipment is turned off.

We will tell you how we did in the New Year!

Happy Holidays from the Energy Team and Sustainability Services

LUU’s Blue Planet Exhibition

Last week, Leeds University Union’s (LUU) Leeds Community Project (LCP) hosted an interactive Blue Planet exhibition in Union Square. The team hoped to raise awareness of the devastation plastic causes in our oceans and environment and educate people on good plastic practice. Blue Planet 2 sparked a massive change in the public opinions of plastic; the team built on this and themed the event strongly around the show.

Tom Oladipo, LUU’s Community Officer, features plastic use (or misuse) heavily in his manifesto and LCP wanted to bring this to life in a creative and engaging way. The exhibition was built up by a variety of projects; a Blue Planet screening, a ‘fishing’ for plastic activity, LCP’s Plastic Sculpture competition and a table full of plastics factsheets! These events taught and tested attendees of the dos and don’ts of plastic recycling and how to cut their own plastic footprint.

In line with the collaborative #2023PlasticFree Pledge, LCP encouraged people to make their own plastics pledge, which formed a post-it exhibition in itself.

Environmental charity, Hubbub, from the #LeedsByExample campaign joined the event and brought along “Gorden Binnet”, their “Bubble Bin”. This bin is designed to encourage the public to recycle wrappers, bottles and cans on the go.

Recycling schemes vary between different businesses and councils so it can be hard to keep track of what can and can’t be recycled. If you want to learn more about what can be recycled in Leeds, head to the Leeds City Council Website or download the Leeds Bins App.

LUU’s plan is to take the exhibition into halls and community centres where LCP can continue spreading messages around plastic recycling.

Don’t turn into a Grinch this holiday break: follow our simple steps to make the holiday break so much better.

1. Too many tins of soup left? – Donate!

Give it away instead of it wasting away

Clear out your fridge and donate any leftover food. Why not give it to housemates or friends that are staying in Leeds over the break? Or simply drop it off at the FD Building on campus and  any of the university residences’ reception (non- perishable foods only) where it will be given to help others this Christmas.

2. Room a mess? – Take your stuff home.

A quick way to declutter

If you have too many things lying around that you didn’t use or need this semester, take it home with you or donate it to a British Heart Foundation donation bank (on campus and in halls) to help you declutter. Remember you’ll be getting new things so make space for them!
Give yourself the perfect Christmas gift – a nice clean room!

4. Shut down what you don’t need and save money.

Switch it off!

No one wants to come home to crazy electricity bills after the break. Shut down what you don’t need but keep a few lights on for security purposes. Treat yourself to a light timer plug!  Not everyone has control of their heating, but keep it low if you can!

 

5. Take your valuables home/ keep them out of sight.

Keep it out of sight. You don’t know who is watching.

Keep your belongings safe. Take your valuables home and keep anything you’ve left behind out of sight!

6. Staying in Leeds? Join in the festivities.

Take a break from revision (or procrastination)

It’s freezing out there, but don’t stay cooped up inside all day. Take a break from your busy schedule of procrastination – I mean doing your assignments… Join in the festivities and check out the annual #UniLeedsChristmas events!

 

Are you staying in Leeds over the winter break? Christmas in Leeds is an annual programme for all students and…

Posted by University of Leeds on Monday, November 26, 2018

7. Most importantly have a great Christmas break and see you in the New Year.

Happy Holidays!!!!