Paul Montgomery is a governor at Humberstone Junior School in Leicestershire. He shares his motivations for the role and talks about the difference governors can make to children’s life chances.
“I knew I needed to do something to keep my brain active since retiring recently. Being a school governor is a way to give back but I get something from it too. It’s another learning experience – I’ve never worked in education so I’m interested to see how my skills can benefit a new sector.
I’m concerned about the reduction in funding for education. We need to help young people feel enfranchised and get those who feel like they’re on the outside levelled up. Empowering young people through education makes them valuable members of society. It’s a win-win as we as a country need a well-educated workforce to move us forwards and find solutions to modern challenges.
I see lots of society in conflict with disenfranchised young people – and lots of people put the blame on the young people themselves. I don’t think that’s fair. It’s up to all of us to find a solution to the problems facing young people today. Being a governor is something tangible I can do to try and make a difference.
My professional background is in finance, specifically audit and fraud prevention. I spent the last ten years of my career in a leadership position and running my own organisation. Having knowledge around things like leadership and management, motivating staff, performance management along with recruitment and retention, make a difference to a school. The school I’m a governor at is brilliant at giving children a fantastic education, but needs support with the business management. That’s where I can make a difference.
If you’re tempted by the role, give it a go. Don’t worry about not knowing much about education. It’s the business, governance and finance skills schools need and the skills lots of people can bring.”