A Celebration of Newham Volunteers

National Volunteers’ Week closed with a celebration of Newham Volunteers in Plashet Park on Saturday 3 June 2023, which included a celebration of the work of school governors and trustees.

On the stage, long-standing School Governor with many years of service, Cllr Neil Wilson, spoke of the role of Governors being strategic leaders in schools. He recognised the valued work of those who contribute as governors and trustees, who form a significant volunteer workforce in the borough, contributing to the outcomes of children.

Sarah Beaumont, Head of Governance at The Education Space, spoke of there being around a quarter of a million school governors, making up the largest volunteer group in the country. She referred to the presence of a strong support network for governors, saying that Newham Partnership Working (NPW) - The Education Space had been set up by schools to provide support services to schools, and that this included support and training to governors.

Sarah also paid tribute to the work of the active Newham Governors’ Association, chaired by Ellen Kemp.

Cllr Jane Lofthouse, herself a long-standing School Governor, worked tirelessly throughout the day to promote and recognise the work of school governors and trustees, and to encourage those who may be interested in undertaking the role.

Events throughout the day included speeches by volunteers of varied fields, fun and games on the many stands publicising different volunteering organisations and lively and entertaining dance by Shpresa Albanian Line Dance, China, and Dave Dance’s Zumba class.

Many thanks to all those who visited the School Governor stand and to the organisers of the event headed by Alison Mitchel, Volunteer Coordinator, for a very successful and enjoyable day.

Interested in becoming a School Governor / Trustee?

If you are interested in becoming a school governor or trustee, please get in touch to find out about the role and how you may apply.

The contribution of governors and trustees can make a difference to the future of children and young people in our schools. Governing boards are responsible for taking important decisions that enable schools to improve and develop. Governing boards work closely with their headteachers, who are responsible for the day-to-day management of their schools.

Commitment and common sense are important qualities that governors bring to their schools - you do not have to have formal qualifications or experience in education, finance or management, although these skills will always be welcome.

To be an effective governor you need to:

  • Have an interest in education, schools and young people;
  • Be able to listen to other people’s views, to discuss them and then to form your own judgements;
  • Be willing to support the decisions taken by the whole governing board;
  • Have time to play your full part in the work of the governing board;
  • Be willing to learn.