Rachael Fitzpatrick, Clinical Nurse Specialist

I started volunteering in school governance to maintain and further develop my leadership skills at a time when my job role was changing. I have been a school governor for the past seven years at a primary school in Wigan. My children attend the school, so I originally joined the board as a parent governor for a four year term. I was re-elected by the parents and now sit as a Foundation Governor (appointed by the local church council).

As a governor, I help oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent. We are also responsible for holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, as well as ensuring a clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction. Governors or trustees set the aims and objectives for the school or group of schools and set the policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteacher.

Over the years, I have been involved in numerous interviews (including the appointment of staff to SLT) and sat on disciplinary panels for staff and pupil exclusions.  As a member of the local board, I have overseen the financial performance of the school and have be involved in the restructure of staff. I have also been the Lead Governor responsible for safeguarding, data, and more recently the development of maths and music within the school.

The role has allowed me to support all children at the school to have the opportunity to reach their full potential along with developing some transferable skills for my nursing role in the future.