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Copleston school governor becomes face of national campaign to recruit volunteers

PUBLISHED: 09:53 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 01 July 2018

Copleston High School governor Jordan Holder filming the video for the Everyone on Board campaign which aims to inspire all backgrounds into becoming school governors Picture: NATIONAL GOVERNANCE ASSOCIATION

Copleston High School governor Jordan Holder filming the video for the Everyone on Board campaign which aims to inspire all backgrounds into becoming school governors Picture: NATIONAL GOVERNANCE ASSOCIATION

National Governance Association

A governor at an Ipswich school is spearheading a national campaign to recruit more young adults and ethnic minorities into the role.

22-year-old Jordan Holder has been a Copleston governor for almost a year Picture: NATIONAL GOVERNANCE ASSOCIATION22-year-old Jordan Holder has been a Copleston governor for almost a year Picture: NATIONAL GOVERNANCE ASSOCIATION

Jordan Holder, a governor at Copleston High School who is of mixed white and black Caribbean ethnicity, joined the Everyone on Board campaign run by Inspiring Governance and the National Governance Association after learning that just 4% of school governors nationally came from ethnic minorities compared to around a third of pupils.

Just 1% of all governors were aged less than 30, according to the campaign.

The 22-year-old, who has been a governor for almost a year, joined five other governors from across the country to lead the campaign, and encourage people with different skills, backgrounds and experiences to lend their time as a governor.

“My motivation for becoming a school governor was to improve my knowledge of schools and education, and to gain more leadership experience,” he said.

“I think it is essential that governing boards reflect the communities we serve, ensuring we are diverse and vibrant.”

Mr Holder, who owns his own business and also works for the Careers and Enterprise Company, said he hoped that people being able to see a young governor from a minority background would help others see it as a viable option.

As part of the campaign, he appeared in a short film highlighting his experiences, and has taken part in panel workshops alongside bosses from the Association of School and College Leaders and the Department for Education about the need for diverse governing boards.

Data published in May by Suffolk County Council revealed there were 378 vacancies across the county’s 149 local authority maintained schools.

The number of governor vacancies at academies in the county is not clear.

More than 100 people have volunteered to become governors thanks to the early stages of the campaign so far, with the hope of more joining.

Michael Roy, south east regional manager at Inspiring Governance said: “Being a school governor is a responsible yet rewarding role, and by sharing his personal experiences,

“I hope that Jordan will inspire others across Ipswich and beyond to step forward to support their schools so that they can be successful for everyone.

“Jordan’s pride and passion for governing really shines through in the film, and coupled with his valuable perspective on why having more governors from ethnic minorities and younger age groups is so important, I am confident that people will recognise the need for diverse volunteers and the difference they themselves can make.”

Suffolk County Council has been working to dispel some of the common misconceptions over who can become a governor, answering questions about background, age, experience and hours for the role.

To find out more about becoming a school governor, visit the Everyone on Board campaign website here or Suffolk County Council’s Govern Suffolk page here.

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