Our NGN colleague and long-serving governor Peter Harwood, shares his governance story.
Motivation to become a governor is varied but many, like me, initially see this as a way to help individual schools they have a connection with. That’s how I became involved.
I was one of the first ever elected parent governors in the 1980s (Yes I am that old). I soon realised that this was not a representative position nor an advocacy for my children. I also realised that the offer I made with my free time was well rewarded with extensive personal development.
Professionally I was an electronics design engineer working at a university so I didn’t get out much! I quickly learned that working with other governors and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and expertise was a priceless opportunity. It became one of the most valuable experiences of my life which has continued beyond my relatively narrow work experience, raising our family and now having teenage grandchildren. It also stimulated me to become involved in other public service interests. I have served as an elected councillor, on primary care health bodies, housing association boards and much more. I didn’t notice that, at some point, I must have retired from the conventional aspiration of working to an end point.
So from a young dad to my treasured inability to stop as an ageing old bloke, I remain actively working with a diverse group of colleagues many of whom have become friends and the task was enjoyable and, at times, fun. I am lucky that I can still contribute to the greatest investment that we can collectively make. That is the future of our most precious resources, our young people. So if you want to grow old and stay young and feel able to contribute, think about giving back by becoming a governor. I can promise you will get much much more out than you put in. That’s a win win for you and Norfolk’s young people.
Governor and MAT Trustee