Campaign to bring in more governors proves successful

Michael Pipes with his wife June

Former governor receives MBE award

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THE head of education at Portsmouth City Council has said a bid to recruit more governors across the city has been deemed a big success.

The News launched Get on Board – a campaign to encourage people to become school governors.

That was because there was a shortfall of people willing to take up the crucial volunteer position which is key in helping to shape education.

When the campaign was launched in March, the target was to fill 65 governor vacancies across the city. So far, 71 applications have been received for appointments to governing bodies.

In that time, around 52 of them have been filled, with a few eliminations due to reducing the numbers of governing bodies.

In total, 65 of the governors have now been fully trained.

Julien Kramer is the interim head of education at Portsmouth City Council.

He said: ‘The campaign has been very successful and people are still coming forward. It’s given it a high profile. What is interesting is the quality of people that have come forward.

‘We have had some very senior people, not just in terms of what they have done and how they are doing it but the way they present themselves. It helps if there’s an awareness of what school governance is about.

‘We are going to reduce the overall numbers of some governing bodies which will help with the problem of turnover.’

Many of the vacancies have been filled by business leaders in and around the city. The city had a shortfall of 135 school governors.

Councillor Neill Young is the cabinet member for children and education at the council.

He said: ‘It’s really encouraging to get more school governors because it can only help to support the development of schools in the city.

‘It’s really important to have some sort of scrutiny and for schools to feel challenged but also to work with the headteachers to solve any issues.

‘They do make a huge contribution.

‘It’s amazing that people give up their time to give back to the community.

‘We have all different sorts of people who have come through which is good because we get a governing body that is rich and diverse with different views to help schools develop and grow.’

To become a governor, call (023) 9284 1716.