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!