Inspiring Governance – Online recruitment service leading the way in diversifying governance

Today marks the release of the DfE’s statement of intent in response to the recent Prime Minister’s Race Disparity Audit. The Race Disparity Audit takes a forensic look at whether those from different ethnic groups experience disparities in public services and how they are represented in public life.

This is critically important in education where early disparities in exclusions and attainment can have knock on effects for the rest of children’s lives. It is school governors and trustees who as part of their role scrutinise the differences in progress of our increasingly diverse pupil groups and (according to the NGA and TES School Governance in 2018 report) only 5% of respondents come from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

Since last summer, the National Governance Association and Inspiring Governance have been leading the agenda to make school governance more reflective of wider society and to harness the talents of volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Damian Hinds the Secretary of State for Education helped launch our ‘Everyone on Board’ campaign in June which has since seen hundreds of governors from diverse backgrounds sign up and be successfully placed in school governing bodies.

The success has come from an online recruitment system that is breaking the mould of how governor recruitment operates. Traditionally this has been through local connections and who people know which inevitably, despite recruiters’ best efforts, has often led to appointment in the same image as before.

Director of Inspiring Governance Dominic Judge said “The response to Everyone on Board has been tremendous with many citing the campaign as the inspiration for them to sign up. 19% of our volunteers are now from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds but what is most revealing though is that also 19% of our governor appointments through the service are from a Black, Asian and Minority ethnic background.

Clearly there is something about registering your skills and interest online and recruiters using an online system that is both encouraging people to put themselves forward and removing some of the unconscious bias that may have been operating at the early stages of more traditional ways of governor recruitment.”

Our Everyone on Board campaign is also driving the next generation of governors as young people from all backgrounds register to give something back to education at the same time as developing their professional skills of strategic thinking and operating at board level. Inspiring Governance already has over 3,200 governor volunteers below the age of 36.

To find out more and register your interest in becoming a governor click here.