When recruiting governors for schools, its important to understand as much as possible about the applicant’s motivations, experience, and understanding of the role. Effective governance can support your senior leadership team to raise standards of education and ensure clear direction in all aspects of school life, to ultimately improve outcomes for pupils.
As organisers of the Annual Academies Governance and Leadership Conference we wanted to help you get the most out of an interview with a potential school governor, here are a list of 16 questions to consider asking interviewees, to ensure you choose the right candidate for your school, to join the governing board.
Find out what potential governors can bring to your school by asking questions such as:
- What are your motivations for becoming a school governor, and what do you understand the role to be?
- Why are you interested in becoming a governor at this school in particular? How much do you already know about the school?
- What do you hope to achieve as a school governor?
- How will you help build relationships within the school, and between the school and wider community?
- What school improvement ideas do you have, and how would you seek to implement these?
- How will you support parental engagement?
- What ideas do you have to help the school ensure value for money in terms of procurement and service delivery?
Its important for governors to have a long term vision and commitment to improving school outcomes, and have ideas for how they can help improve upon your current ways of working and delivering results.
Find out about the applicant governor’s skill set by asking questions including:
- What non-education related experience do you have that you feel could be useful in this role? For example, financial oversight, event planning, organisational development?
- Can you give an example of demonstrating the interpersonal skills needed in this role? Such as communication, teamwork, negotiation?
- What do you think the most challenging aspect of being a school governor could be, and how will you look to overcome this?
The wider the skill set of a governing body, the more effective the board can be as a whole. Try to ensure new recruits bring at least one new skill to the team that other governor's don't have.
Find out how the role of a school governor fits in with their wider interests and commitments by exploring:
- What other commitments do you have that you will work this role around?
- How do you keep up to date with sector news and developments in education?
- Are you aware of the Seven Principles of Public Life, and as a school governor how will you demonstrate commitment to these?
As this is a voluntary role, potential governors for schools must show they have considered how this will fit into their existing schedule, and show commitment to improving education delivery.
Find out what they want from you by understanding:
- What are the areas of school life you are most keen to learn more about?
- What training and development opportunities will be important to you in this role?
- What skills are you hoping to develop as a school governor?
To encourage retention of school governors, and ensure you make the most of their enthusiasm and eagerness to support the leadership team, its important to understand early on what they are looking to gain from the role too, so that a plan for their development can be put in place.
If you want to ensure effective governance practices and collaborative leadership, it's essential you keep up-to-date with the most effective solutions to help raise standards of education in your school. To learn more about effective governance and leadership strategies, why not read more on the IG Schools Community Hub:
The Academies Governance & Leadership Conference: Returning in 2021!
This conference features leading updates and solutions to help your school implement high-quality governance practices, allowing academies to benefit from enhanced operational and educational outcomes. You'll hear from key experts and practitioners, learn lessons from different-sized academies, discuss how to increase diversity in leadership, and so much more.