Our Governance Lead, Nicki Wadley, will be leaving TheSchoolBus at the end of July, so we couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to turn the tables and ask her about her experiences as a governor. Nicki is Chair of Governors in a Junior school in her home town in Gloucestershire and also a local leader of governance for the Teaching School Council South West.
Q: Why do you volunteer as a governor?
A: Because I can’t imagine not being a governor. Governance provides me with such a privileged opportunity to support schools using my skills and experiences, but I get far more in return.
Q: What is the smallest action you have taken as a governor that has had the biggest impact?
Q: What is your governor super-talent?
A: Supporting others.
Q: What do you personally gain from being a governor?
A: So much. Schools are the most amazing hubs of joy and opportunity and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be involved and experience that. I have also gained personally and professionally from experiencing brilliant leadership and not so great leadership. I have also, most importantly gained a whole new career. When I started volunteering as a governor, I was a learning disability nurse and the rest as they say is history.
Q: What holds you back from achieving your governance goals?
A: Time. I would love to volunteer in more schools, but I don’t have the time to do that effectively.
Q: Is being a governor what you expected it to be? If not, why not?
A: I didn’t know what to expect to be honest. I knew I wanted to support my children’s school but being shy I also knew I didn’t want to join the PTA and have to be sociable at events – I know that may be hard to believe. I honestly do not think I contributed anything for the first 18 months, but I committed to learning all I could and found myself loving the role.
Q: What is your favourite governance activity?
A: Anything that involves the children and seeing them thriving in the school environment. Also supporting others to develop in their own governance role.
Q: If you could oversee governance nationally for one day, what would your first decision be?
A: To make my one-day appointment permanent 😊
Q: Which do you think is the most important of all the ‘Nolan principles’?
A: Integrity. I think all the others all flow naturally from having a deep sense of integrity.
Q: What do you think is the most common myth about governors?
A: That we are hobbyists who don’t understand our role.
If you would like to be interviewed for a future ‘In conversation with…’, please contact Clare Booth at firstname.lastname@example.org