Standing up for science

28 June 2018

Clare Webster, parent governor and science link at The Coppice Primary School in Wythall, Worcestershire is the incoming Chair of the Ogden science governors group, replacing founding chair Christine Brown who steps down after two years in the role. Under Christine’s leadership, the group has been firmly established as the role of science governors in schools has become increasingly important. 

The current network of governors that form the Ogden science governors group hold termly meetings in the West Midlands area, but they are keen to expand their membership and reach. The group shares ideas, success stories, trends and influences from industry; disseminates useful documents and pro-formas such as pupil voice questionnaires; highlights any upcoming events which may be of interest to their schools; and discusses strategies for science succession planning.  

As the network grows, the group hopes to hold smaller regional meetings – and they are inviting more science governors to join. Please contact Clare if you are interested. 

“As an individual, I personally benefit from being part of the science governors group because I feel more informed when I meet with the school science lead, and I can bring relevant ideas to the table. It also gives me a network of useful contacts with their own insights into the STEM world,” says Clare. Outgoing chair, Christine Brown comments, “I am proud to make a positive contribution to the excellent work already carried out by the science team at my school and to support them to provide amazing and exciting experiences for the pupils. I’m particularly keen to raise awareness with pupils, parents and school staff about the amazing possibilities that open up for students of STEM subjects and the big demand there is for engineers and technicians in our exciting manufacturing future.”  

Coppice Phiz Lab in 2016
Clare pictured (second from left, back row) at the opening of the Coppice Phiz Lab in 2016

Remember, being a science governor enables you to:

  • give back to the school that is helping your child. One head comments that: “We couldn’t do our job without you”.
  • have the opportunity to inspire pupils about the opportunities available to STEM students. 
  • support your head of science in lots of small but important ways – from collecting bottle tops to being someone they can bounce ideas off.
  • see first-hand what your child is experiencing and be able to join in STEM activities.
“Working closely with our science governor has been a real pleasure and a huge benefit to our school in moving our science department forward. Together we worked through our department’s action plan, identified areas of development and they assisted our school with off site visits and award recognition. Working with our school governor has been one of our key areas in making science so successful at our school.”
Ben Wilkes, Head of Science, Birchensale Middle School 

“I want to thank Christine for her amazing efforts in establishing our science governors group and Clare for taking on the leadership for next year,” says Wendy Cox, Head of School Partnerships. “Clare and Christine are governors at schools with an active commitment to science, but we know others do not have the same resources or programme of science activities. The role of science governor in other schools may be more challenging but none the less vital and rewarding. If you would like to learn more about our Science Governors group and how you might be able to participate – either through a virtual support network or by attending our meetings – please contact Clare.” 

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