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Warning pupils’ education will suffer due to major shortage of school governors in Kent

PUBLISHED: 09:26 12 October 2017

Governor shortage

Governor shortage

yacobchuk

Over 500 vacancies for governors currently across the county, organisation claims

An education charity says pupils will suffer as a result of a significant shortage in school governors across Kent.

The SGOSS Governors for Schools, a national education charity working in partnership with business, public sector organisations and local authorities to connect more governor volunteers with schools say there are vacancies at schools across the county.

It says north Kent (Dartford, Gravesham and Sevenoaks) has 150 vacancies; south Kent (Ashford, Shepway and Dover) has 145; east Kent (Canterbury, Swale and Thanet) has 113 and west Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells) has 156.

SGOSS chief executive Louise Cooper said: “While many of the headlines at the moment are around teacher shortages, the problem in recruiting governors is just as acute.

“Governors are critical in ensuring that schools are being managed efficiently and effectively so that they can deliver excellent education.”

Governors hold the main responsibility for finance in schools, appoint the head teacher and work with senior leadership teams to ensure pupils receive an excellent education.

As well as helping head teachers to manage funding, governors also advise and make recommendations on everything from legal issues, facilities management, human resources and IT.

SGOSS, which recruits and trains prospective governors for free, says there are just too few volunteers coming forward and currently the charity has just 45 volunteers for the 550-plus vacancies throughout the region.

Mrs Cooper added: “There is a great need for skilled and committed people to come forward and share their expertise with schools to help achieve the best possible educational outcomes for children - maximising the value for every pound spent.

“Becoming a school governor is an incredibly rewarding experience, through which people learn new skills – many of which can be transferred back into the work place and help with career progression.”

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