CAPTION: School governors have been playing a key support role during the pandemic

Urgent Call for New Governors to Help Devon’s Schools During Pandemic

Posted: 1st February, 2021

Schools across Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay, urgently need new governors as they continue to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The Diocese of Exeter, which has responsibility for the county’s 133 Church of England schools, is re-launching its Be A Governor campaign in order to meet the need for volunteer governors on the frontline at this time.

Christina Mabin, the Diocesan Education Advisor with responsibility for Governance and a primary school governor herself, said, “Governors are needed now more than ever.

Schools are juggling teaching children remotely and on site

“During the first lockdown, as a governor, I was being contacted on a regular basis with updates on the ever-changing situation.

“Schools were open to key workers and vulnerable children, staff were working weekends and holidays and we were having to make key decisions about trying to keep all staff and children safe.

“This involved decisions on closing the school for short periods of time.

“There is a lot of pressure on head teachers and school staff.

“As governors we are concerned with the wellbeing of teachers, children and parents and helping where we can.”

“People who come forward to be governors could make a real difference right now” Sue Lockwood, Acting Director of Education

Christina said that schools needed governors to fill vacancies despite being closed and working remotely.

Devon has some of the highest numbers of pupils still attending school in England during this third lockdown.

In some Church of England schools in the county, 50% of pupils are attending, which is higher than the national average.

School governors are volunteers who work strategically with schools giving both support and challenge.

They do not need to be parents or previously connected to the school but do need to be committed.

Sue Lockwood, Acting Director of Education, for the Diocese of Exeter, said, “School Leaders and their staff have been doing a great job throughout the pandemic in serving the needs of their students and families.

“They are working long hours to ensure school communities are safe and that students’ wellbeing and education are continuing positively.

“Governors play a vital role in this work.  People who can come forward to be governors could make a real difference right now.”

The Bishop of Exeter has called for Tuesday 2 February, Candlemas, to be a Day of Prayer for all Devon’s schools, their staff, pupils and parents.

To find out more about becoming a school governor visit the Be A Governor page.