Home > Case Studies > Why I Became a Governor: Case Study

Why I Became a Governor: Case Study

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
School Governor Children Committee

When Vassilis Zarifis enrolled his eldest daughter in primary school in a leafy north London suburb, he knew the choice of school would have a huge impact not only on her life, but on his as well.

“The most important thing in our life is our children, and the most important thing you can offer children is their education,” says Vassilis, 46, who has two daughters aged 5 and 7.

“Most of that is offered through the school. So when my daughter started school I decided that I wanted to help the school in any way possible. I wanted to offer the best I could offer, for the school, my children and their friends.”

Becoming a Governor

Vassilis, who is the director of a business marketing and IT firm in London, decided that the best way he could personally help the school was to become a governor. He was already on the board of the PTA, but felt that wasn’t enough.

“My children’s school is a big part of our life, and will continue to be that for the next 18 years,” he says. “Primary school will a big part for the next seven years, so if I could do something to make the school better it would be a great thing for me.”

Problem was, all the parent governor spots were taken. So Vassilis became an Associate member of the governing body, which means he doesn’t have full voting rights but can still joint different committees and have an influence on the school. He hopes to be voted in as a full governor eventually.

Choosing Different Committees

As part of the governing body structure, different committees are set up that deal with such issues as staffing, finance and curriculum.

Vassilis says he “would have loved to be on the all the governing body committees, but because of time I could only be on a few. So I chose to be on the ones where I think I can offer most to the school.

“Those are the Finance Committee, (as I am trained in business management and I have a MBA), and the Environment and Premises Committee, as I have engineering training as well.

“I am not sure yet how much work will be involved with the committees, so I will wait and see. If I have more time I will perhaps try to be on other committees as well.”

He adds that he is also hoping to become a Link Governor, who has responsibility for overseeing links with a specific area of the school.

“There are two empty positions available at the moment – history and geography - but I cannot offer a lot in these positions. I am hoping eventually to be able to be the Link Governor for IT.”

Making a Difference

Vassilis is also hoping that his career as a governor, which only just started, will be a fruitful one and help make a difference to the school.

“I hope to serve the school, to help keep it the best school in area. If I can do something to help the school maintain its status and reputation, I will be very happy,” says Vassilis, who came here from Greece in 1989.

“I think now that it is an excellent school which deserves it reputation. My wife and I are happy to have our children in a school where parents care about their kids and their education, a school that has very devoted teachers, and a school that has a headteacher who has made the school her life, really.

“The school has governors who care about the school so all the children are there for the school to excel. If I can help that, it’s great. By getting involved in the school I have the feeling that my efforts will not be wasted.”

The Right Ingredients

He is adamant that he hasn’t seen anything that he hopes to change. “I haven’t seen anything negative yet, nothing major, nothing that has to be changed.

“The whole premise of an excellent school centres around the will of the people, the parents and the staff, what they have in mind for the school’s future,” he says.

“If the desire to keep the school as an excellent and happy place for children is there, then the main ingredients for a great school are already in place.”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kata
    Re: What is an Academy?
    I would like to find a school for sport or car mechanic, we currently live in london for 1 month, my son is 15 years old, doesn't speak…
    24 April 2019
  • Atirem
    Re: What to Include in an Appeal
    All help or advise needed before my appeal please?My daughter has been refused a place from the nursery that she goes now! She’s…
    23 April 2019
  • Murray
    Re: What is Flexi-schooling?
    I find it really hard to take an article seriously when it talks of what’s fair and unfair as a negative for how you school your child!…
    17 April 2019
  • Marie
    Re: What to Include in an Appeal
    All advice and help needed before my appeal pls?? My son AC has been refused a place at our first choice school, also a feeder…
    16 April 2019
  • Desperate mom
    Re: Home to School Transport: Lodging an Appeal
    Hi My eldest is at the catchment school but my younger son is due to start in September. Due to the new…
    15 April 2019
  • Laura at ITV News
    Re: Waiting Lists for School
    Hello My name is Laura, I work at ITV News - we are hoping to interview a London-based family for Lunchtime News (16/04/19) tomorrow…
    15 April 2019
  • n/a
    Re: Get a Place at Grammar School
    Iwould like to know the passing mark in the 11 plus. Because ma daughters y5 teacher said it 120 but the teacher assistant said…
    11 April 2019
  • Maj
    Re: Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School
    I am planning to come to study to London with my 3 children , 4 yrs, 9 yrs and 11 yrs. I would like to know about…
    11 April 2019
  • Dell
    Re: Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School
    My brother wants to migrate to uk n his son is answering class 10th exams can he enrol his son in uk high…
    9 April 2019
  • Lainey
    Re: Rules and Regulations Surrounding School Trips
    My daughter is going on a school trip to Pompeii. They are due to arrive home at 2.30am and expected to be…
    6 April 2019