Joanna is finding her feet as a new school governor

Joanna Dixon
Joanna Dixon
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IT DIDN’T take long before Joanna Dixon got a taste of what volunteering as a school governor was like.

Soon after Joanna joined the team at Gatcombe Park Primary School late last year, she found herself sitting in a full meeting of the governing board.

Joanna said: ‘It was a really positive environment.

‘It was very structured, not unlike a meeting you would have in business.

‘They discussed the school’s curriculum and finance.

‘The meeting showed me how much I’d need to learn to be able to effectively take part.’

Joanna, 52, spoke to The News as part of our Get On Board campaign to encourage more local people to become school governors.

She said her journey to becoming a school governor began with a desire to put something back into the community.

‘I wanted to do something to give me a change and learning opportunity,’ she said.

Joanna said she had previously thought only parents became school governors.

‘I found out that I could become a local authority governor, so I applied through the Portsmouth City Council website and then I was invited to an information session at the council.’

At the session, Joanna and a group of like-minded people were given a presentation about joining a school board.

There was then a chance to meet individually with one of the council’s governorship team to ask questions.

After being accepted she soon had offers from an infant school and a junior school.

After visiting both, she chose to the join the board of the junior school because it was closer to home.

Joanna also went to two induction training evenings to learn more about how governorship works.

She said: ‘I work in finance for a local authority, and even though my skills are transferable I’m having to work out how to use them in a new environment.’

The council’s governor support officer Anthony Quinn said about 10 people had already contacted the council about becoming school governors.

He said: ‘I expect our next event for prospective governors will be well attended.’

To find out more about being a governor please call (023) 9284 1716.