Fridolin Wild is a senior research fellow at Oxford Brookes University. He has been a governor at Oxford Spires Academy for six months.
Why did you decide to become a school governor?
I work at Oxford Brooks and I received an email from the university about becoming a school governor. When I read that the role is a great opportunity to gain management experience, I thought it was something I’d like to be involved with. I attended a seminar and came away thinking that being a governor was something I’d like to do.
How do you think your professional experience help in the role?
My professional background is in research of educational technology, but I also develop teaching programmes. It’s been helpful because I have knowledge of the technologies the school could invest in. I have been for many years treasurer of an association, so to some extent I was familiar with the processes involved on a governing board. I’m a great believer in getting practical experience to learn. You have to learn the hard way to truly understand something.
Governors for Schools’ online resources have been really useful in getting to grips with the role – especially the webinars. I always come away having learnt something new.
How have you found working with the governing board?
The board has been very welcoming and we have a variety of skills sets and experiences. It’s a very collaborative environment. People are open minded and all share one quality – they care about children and education. The chair has been fantastic, making sure everyone exchanged email addresses and chairing meetings efficiently so that we don’t over-run. It’s great that he’s considerate of our other commitments. I have three young children so I appreciated his experience in knowing how precious our time outside work can be.
How do you think you’ll benefit from the role?
As a senior member of staff at the University, I’m keen to gain an overview of what it takes to manage at a level of senior leadership. As part of a school governing board, I’ll gain insight into all the areas it takes to manage – from estates, to analytics, to safeguarding. Volunteering in the role gives me experience in lots of new areas, but I’m also able to give back to the community in which I live and work.