Calls for action as schools in Portsmouth and Gosport have shortage of governors

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VOLUNTEERS are desperately needed to fill a long list of school governor vacancies.

Schools in Gosport are short of 24 people with MP Caroline Dinenage now calling on people to sign up to help.

Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, is calling for more people to become school governors.''Picture: Sarah Standing (180834-8850)

Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, is calling for more people to become school governors.''Picture: Sarah Standing (180834-8850)

Ms Dinenage wants to bring in a range of people from diverse backgrounds to help fill the shortfall.

She said: ‘School governors are a vital part of our education system, ensuring schools provide a good quality education for all pupils.

‘A common misconception is that governors have to be a parent but anyone can do it and make a real difference to young people and their local community while developing great skills.’

Ms Dinenage has met with recruitment experts, Governors for Schools, to discuss the shortage and see what strategies can be put in place.

It comes as schools in Portsmouth are also struggling. A Portsmouth Education Partnership survey found that ‘the majority of schools (are) either reporting a current vacancy or expect to have a governor vacancy in the near future’.

A campaign has seen 20 extra governors in Portsmouth.

Cabinet member for education at Portsmouth City Council, Suzy Horton, who is a serving governor at Craneswater Junior School, said: ‘We are always conscious there are vacancies and we recently had a campaign to address our governor shortfall.

‘As soon as I left teaching and moved to Portsmouth I applied to be a school governor. It’s brilliant to be part of a successful team making a real difference to children’s lives.

‘You don’t have to be an educationalist to be a good governor. Quite often the opposite is true as people bring skills from other industries. It’s incredibly rewarding and I would urge anyone considering it  to go to the council website to find out more.’  

Consultancy Governors for Schools has been enlisted to help in Gosport.

A statement from the organisation said: ‘A school is like a family business – it’s a unique opportunity as you’re setting the pathway for the next generation. While the teaching staff do that extremely well, people from outside education add value by looking at schools from a business perspective.’