Burges Salmon

As a responsible business, Burges Salmon has a long-standing commitment to make a positive difference, primarily in those communities connected to our Bristol and Edinburgh office locations. We favour work with schools, with social mobility being an important focus of our community engagement programme.

We recognise that young people are the future and by encouraging Burges Salmon colleagues to take up a Board-level Governance positions, they can both apply and develop their skills and make a contribution towards stronger communities and greater opportunity for young people to flourish.

Our people benefit too, by learning about good governance, making new connections and building network and by feeling they are making a meaningful contribution. As governance positions are inherently strategic such opportunities are also great for developing leadership insights.

Our award winning Burges Salmon ‘Working with Schools’ programme has various touch-points with students and schools and is really enabled by our own volunteers. We know from our people they find such opportunities hugely rewarding. We’d therefore encourage others to get involved and uptake governance positions, particularly recognising the need for diversity on Boards too.

Sophie Summers, Senior Associate at Burges Salmon

How I got involved

Out of curiosity, I attended an Inspiring Governance session at work. A short while later my children’s primary school advertised for parent governors. I put my name forward with vague motivations that it sounded interesting, education of our young people is key to all our futures and I hoped I could be put some of my spare time to good use.

A whole new world

I’ve been blown away by the role. It’s opened a whole new world to me. My mind boggles on the fact that schools across the country rely on volunteers for their strategy and to ensure their accountability. But, that makes it a wonderful thing. Anyone can volunteer.

My experience

I have enjoyed my experience over the past 20 months, working with ‘English subject link’, ‘leadership and management’ and ‘safeguarding’ hats on. I have given and I have taken.


There is a level of responsibility and commitment which comes with the role.  I’ve used my skills and experience as the school…

  • navigated a year of COVID related lockdowns and closures;
  • reflected on its home-school offering;
  • reviewed and developed policies; and
  • was inspected by Ofsted.

The school has continued to move forward in spite of the challenging times: developing curriculum, teaching and learning strategies as well as staff; always striving to close the stubborn attainment gap experienced by disadvantaged children.


Embracing ‘life-long learning’ and the school’s vision ‘Believing it’s possible’, I am learning about a whole new sector and gaining insights into running a business (all be it a special one). I work with (and learn from) fascinating and fantastic people all with different backgrounds and perspectives. I’m acquiring new skills along the way – how to support and challenge, persuade others, work as a committee.


I plan to continue volunteering so long as I can and so long as I am needed.   If you’ve read this far, I advocate finding out more and getting involved.  As the saying goes, ‘If not you, who?  If not now, when?’.

Using your skills for good as well as benefiting from the feel-good factor of supporting the development of the next generation, all for just a few hours a month. What’s not to like? Sign up today to get started!

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