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Governance Volunteering Roles

Volunteering for a governance role is very rewarding. Members, trustees and local governors are essential to the successful running of schools and trusts and make up the largest volunteer force in the country. 

Why volunteer for a Governance Role? 

Joining OWN as a trustee, local governor or Member contributes to the local community, helps secure a good start in life for the children in our area and will contribute to Peterborough’s future.  

Trustees, local governors, and members of OWN Trust are all volunteers. The roles are unpaid but hugely rewarding, and we support you throughout with training, guidance, and mentoring. The time commitment, duties and expectations vary by role so even if you have limited time available, we are still keen to hear from you. 

Please contact us to Discover more about Governance Volunteering at OWN Trust.

What skills are we looking for? 

Volunteers joining our trust have a broad range of abilities and social backgrounds. You will be able to develop your skills in a board-level environment and make a valuable contribution to education. 

When considering the skills requirements for governance, we are interested in a wide range of experience, including:  

  • Education 

  • Governance and Risk Management 

  • Business, Finance and HR 

  • Marketing and Communications 

  • Facilities and Health & Safety 

  • Peterborough Community  

  • IT and Data Protection 

  • Health and Social Care  

  • Local Community Knowledge 

  • Knowledge of the schools 

However, a willingness to train and extend your knowledge will be just as important as the skills you bring, so please don't worry if you don't have any of the experience listed above.

Please contact us to Discover more about Governance Volunteering at OWN Trust.

What are the roles and responsibilities? 

We believe that strong governance lies at the heart of any successful organisation. Therefore, we want everyone who has a stake in our community and our children to be able to participate.   

To ensure this, OWN Trust has a three-tier governance structure: 

Members are a small group who act as the guardians of governance for the trust, and they appoint, and can remove, trustees. Members are “eyes on, hands off” and meet at least annually. 

Trustees act as both charity trustees and directors of the company (OWN Trust). They are responsible for the strategic direction, educational standards and financial probity of the trust and its schools. Trustees meet as a Board five or six times per year and each trustee serves on one of our committees (which meet three or four times per year, virtually). 

Local Governance Committee Members are our “boots on the ground”. They are appointed or elected to the Local Governance Committees of a school, and it is their role to ensure the children in their school are safe and well, have opportunities to grow as individuals and benefit from a broad and balanced curriculum.

Local Governance Committees meet termly, and local governors visit the school or meet staff in between. Local governors may have portfolio responsibilities for key areas such as Safeguarding, SEND, Finance and Quality of Education. As part of the portfolio role, local governors meet with counterparts from other schools as part of cross-trust networking groups. 

Please contact us to Discover more about Governance Volunteering at OWN Trust.

What do current Governance Volunteers say about being part of OWN Trust? 

We regularly survey Governance Volunteers for their feedback.

Here's what respondents to the latest survey had to say about their role:

Why did you become a governance volunteer?

To gain an understanding of how the school works and to help the school make decisions in the best interests of the children and parents.

(Local Governance Committee Member)

 I became a trustee because I was convinced being part of an academy trust, 5 years ago, would provide more opportunities to drive forward with school improvement with schools that shared the same vision and values.

(Chair of Trustees)

Increase my understanding of the education sector and support my local community.

(Local Governance Committee Member)

I became a Member because I wanted to use my experience to support another trust and to develop my knowledge by getting to know that trust.


To gain experience of how different schools run in different Academy Trusts. To develop links within the wider Peterborough community.

(Local Governance Committee Member)

What are the most rewarding aspects of being a governance volunteer?

I have found the most rewarding experiences have been taking part in school events and when making site visits (especially Ofsted believe it or not) it is in these moments you realise that the staff value the work that Governors do.

(Local Governance Committee Member)

 The most rewarding aspect of my role is in visiting the trust schools, talking with staff and children, and seeing continuous improvement. I quite like leading board meetings too!

(Chair of Trustees)

The feeling of making a difference to the wider school community (staff, children and parents). 

(Local Governance Committee Member)

The most rewarding aspects of my role are seeing the Trust develop and hearing from the talented and committed staff, trustees and local governors.


Developing my knowledge of how a school operates from a governor perspective, understanding the needs of different schools and supporting them with ideas to aid in the development of all children. 

(Local Governance Committee Member)

As a governance volunteer, I feel I am adding value to the schools and trust...

Ensuring that parents have a voice, ensuring that our children are happy and safe in school, happy and safe at home and can access a quality education and finally, ensuring that the school has the foundations which will allow it to prosper for years to come. 

(Local Governance Committee Member)

I add value to the schools and trust because I have deep knowledge and understanding of education, school, local authorities and trust systems and therefore bring real challenge to our schools, leaders, governors and board members.

(Local Governance Committee Member)

Challenging decisions, asking questions that may not have been considered, supporting the staff and leadership when needed. 

(Local Governance Committee Member)

As a Member, I can bring extensive knowledge and experience of trust governance.


Being involved in the strategic direction of the school, supporting senior leaders and staff with key areas of focus. 

(Local Governance Committee Member)


Please contact us to Discover more about Governance Volunteering at OWN Trust. 

Our Governance and Compliance Manager will be in touch to arrange an informal chat.