Amanda Timcke is a commercial property solicitor at Birketts, Ipswich.
“I became a governor of a primary school in Suffolk in 2012 following a campaign to recruit governors by Suffolk County Council. However, even with my education and law interest, it took me a full academic year to understand what was going on!
Due to my skills and profession, I agreed to work on the Health and Safety and School Improvement committee’s alongside the full governing body with more experienced governors.
Serving on the governing board has allowed me to share and to build on my skills. I have the opportunity to gain experience in strategic decision-making, influencing, presentation and critical analysis – which are all significant areas for professional development.
The role has challenged my listening skills and critical thinking, pushed me to analyse and consider data and documents, and to understand fully the importance of governance in any organisation. Consequently, I have also gained experience in interview panels, headteacher appraisals, and hearings committees. Being a school governor has also broadened my mind and influences generally.
The experiences and expertise acquired during my career allowed me to introduce ideas and approaches to the board; providing a different perspective. It’s easy to take your own expertise for granted, but a lot of what you already know and have experienced can be very useful within a school governing board.
All in all, I have had a remarkable experience that has genuinely opened my eyes to different aspects of society, the economy, and working alongside people that I would not have gained from my professional career. Most importantly, I have developed a better appreciation of the work and resilience of teachers, children and their parents.”