Becoming a school governor ‘can ease loneliness’
VOLUNTEERING AS a school governor can help combat loneliness, charities have said, with new findings over the impact on social wellbeing.
A campaign was launched in September to recruit more governors in the region, amid revelations that more than half of Yorkshire’s schools had struggled to fill vacancies.
Now education charity Governors for School has called for a greater awareness of the role, and the connection in can bring to communities. A fifth of adults in England do not know what governors do, its polls have found, while 86 per cent of volunteers surveyed enjoying their role.
For those feeling disconnected from their community, charity chief executives have said, becoming a governor presents an opportunity to meet new people while putting skills to good use.
“Volunteering as a school governor can be brilliant for your mental health,” said Louise Cooper, chief executive of Governors for Schools. “The satisfaction of seeing children benefit from decisions you’ve made is rewarding and empowering.
“For many of our volunteers, it’s the connections they build within their community, and the sense that they are making a real difference to children’s lives, that makes the role one they love.”
The research comes amidst findings that there are 269 school governor vacancies in Yorkshire.
Good school governance can improve outcomes for children, Governors for Schools says, as well as providing that vital link between individuals and their communities.
But official figures from the National Governance Association’s report for 2018 showed that 60 per cent of schools in Yorkshire had found in difficult to recruit governors and trustees.
A third of schools had struggled to attract good chair and vice chairs, the association found, while 58 per cent of schools had reported vacancies on their governing bodies.
Last year, trial schemes were launched at schools across Yorkshire, linking financial and banking experts from Lloyds Bank to governing bodies.
LOUISE COOPER: ‘Volunteering as a school governor can be brilliant for your mental health.’