“Working from the inside, as it were, it is possible to shape the strategic direction of the school: to ensure STEM is embedded in pan-school activities”
Stew Edmondson, CEO, UKESF
As part of my role at the UKESF, I often speak to industry audiences about the skills-related challenges that we face. The most fundamental challenge is how to get more young people interested in STEM and, in particular, Electronics. In the Q&As, I regularly hear feedback and comments from audience members about them being a “STEM ambassador”. To be honest, my usual reaction is a bit lukewarm and my response is often to say have you thought about being a Governor instead?
Of course, it is great that busy engineers are motivated to do something to help within a school. And I am certainly not disparaging, in any way, the STEM Ambassador scheme run by STEM Learning. However, I do question the efficacy of the more senior individuals our industry being STEM ambassadors. Are we well equipped for this type of role? And how much of a real difference can we make as individuals, in this way?
On the other hand, as a Governor you can make a real difference to a whole school. I speak from personal experience as I was a Governor at my daughters’ secondary school for seven years. Since most state schools, as a result of Government policy, became academies with more autonomy, they have greater freedoms around their curriculum. Working from the inside, as it were, it is possible to shape the strategic direction of the school: to ensure STEM is embedded in pan-school activities and to promote engineering careers-related initiatives.
That is why I was delighted to see the Government’s campaign “Take A Closer Look”, encouraging Engineers to become school Governors. As the campaign says, as a Governor you can make a positive impact on a school. Also, that Engineers are well suited to the role of Governor and possess the skills and experiences that could really benefit a governing board.
Therefore, if you want to do something worthwhile to help young people and our industry, then why not take a closer look at becoming a school Governor? There is a growing number of schools actively seeking engineers with your skills and experience. If building a long-lasting, beneficial relationship with a local school appeals to you then please sign up here. Through the Inspiring Governance programme, they can match you with a school local to where you live or work. Through the programme, you will also be able to access 12 months’ free support and guidance from the National Governance Association.