Secretary of State and IoD call on employers to support school governance

Secretary of State and IoD call on employers to support school governanceWe are delighted that the Secretary of State for Education and the Institute of Directors are calling on employers to encourage their staff to become school governors.

Addressing the National Governance Association Summer Conference in Manchester, Damian Hinds thanked governors for their hard work and commitment.  At the same time, he made a plea for employers to do more to encourage people to volunteer as governors.  This reflects the challenge that many schools still face in recruiting people with the appropriate skills to fill vacancies on their boards.

The Secretary of State said, Supporting your staff to be governors gives employers the opportunity to invest in their local community. The opportunity to shape the talent pool of the future – and, let’s not forget, it is a great development opportunity for staff.”

“With the strategic thinking involved, the challenge of managing resources, of recruiting and retaining the best people. How can you beat that for personal and management development?”

Hinds also highlighted the importance of having diverse governing boards that reflect the schools and communities they serve. He issued a “call to arms” appealing to people up and down the country to take on this vital role.

“Fundamentally this is a people business, and good and effective governance is essential for any school… So, I want to urge people from different backgrounds, different professions, to come forward – to offer up their time, energy, skills, and expertise.”

And it’s not just the policy makers who are keen on employers playing more of a role in school governance.  The Institute of Directors has also called on business and public-sector leaders to get behind this initiative.   We are pleased to see senior stakeholders supporting our recent campaign that highlights how organisations, employees and young people benefit when employees volunteer as school governors.

Dominic Judge, Director of Governance Programmes at Education and Employers, the charity running the Inspiring Governance service, explains: “We know that many organisations with whom we work are not just making this part of their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, they are embracing it as part of their people development and talent management strategies.  The benefits for employers are manifold.  They can develop their workforce, increase the motivation of their staff and, at the same time, have the feel-good factor of making a real impact in their local community.”

When employees work with schools the benefits flow both ways.  Schools greatly value the experience and knowledge that volunteers from outside the education sector bring, but volunteers are reporting how the skills and experience that they are developing from operating on school governing boards is helping them in their workplace.  Joshua Irish, a young management consultant at PwC, describes how “the two roles are actually strengthening each other.”  Read more from Joshua here.

An Education and Employers’ survey of governors already appointed through Inspiring Governance shows 95% are enjoying their governor roles and making an immediate difference and 90% would recommend becoming a governor to their friends.  Volunteers cite the benefits of the ‘feel good factor’, ‘developing new skills’, and ‘making a difference’ to the workforce of the future.

Volunteers placed as governors and trustees through Inspiring Governance have the added benefit of receiving free support and high-quality, CPD accredited training from the National Governance Association.

If you are an employer looking to capitalise on the benefits of supporting school governance, please contact alister.bould@educationandemployers.org for further information and details of how we can support you and your employees at no cost to your organisation.

If you would like to volunteer as a governor or trustee of a school, you can find more information and sign up here.