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Lucy Johnson: North East LEP enterprise coordinator and school governor

“My name is Lucy Johnson and I’m an Enterprise Coordinator working at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. I’m a governor at local authority maintained middle school which caters for pupils from Years 5-8 in the North of Newcastle and I have been in post since July last year – so I joined at an interesting time, right in the middle of the pandemic.

Lucy Johnson of North East LEP sitting at a desk

What made you initially decide to volunteer as a school governor?

I am really passionate about education, specifically the benefits of a middle school for young children’s development – having been through the three tier system myself, I feel it’s a really key support mechanism in education. I also felt that although I am a younger governor – one of the youngest on the Board of Governors – I have a lot of experience to bring to the role that differs from other people’s experiences, especially from my role in education and business.

What skills and insights have you brought to the governing board?

I’ve recently been asked to be the school’s careers link governor, and I work closely with a member of staff to help establish connections with organisations and businesses that support careers education at the school – which links into my day job nicely! The experience I bring at industry level has allowed me to look at how we can create better links for the school that could really open up new opportunities from external organisations.

What skills have you taken from volunteering as a school governor back into your work setting?

There have been many! Leadership, problem solving, conflict management, understanding how to deal with difficult situations – these are skills that I’ve been able to develop through my role as a governor that support the work I do on a day to day basis. There’s a lot that you can learn from other governors on the board who have been involved for a long time, or are from a different industries and have different skillsets.

If you could bust one myth about being a school governor, what would it be?

A big one for me is about age – it doesn’t matter if you’re young, there are huge benefits of becoming a governor at any stage of your life. Because your own experience, knowledge, life skills and background all help to bring diversity to the governing board which can be hugely beneficial to the school. I think younger people should see the role of a governor as a development opportunity – it’s such a good way to develop your skills and it’s a great feeling to give something back.

Would you recommend the role of governor to others?

Definitely! I think you have to be aware of the commitment, but I think a lot of schools are flexible in terms of how much or how little involvement you give. It can provide huge benefits to your career as well as on a personal level.”

Want to join Lucy and find out more about the role? Read more about the role of a School Governor here.