Everyone on Board: New national campaign launched to encourage more diversity on governing boards

In partnership with the National Governance Association (NGA), we are delighted to announce the launch of our Everyone on Board campaign, which aims to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to volunteer to become school governors or trustees.

The campaign features six serving governors sharing their personal experiences on the importance of becoming governors in local schools. It highlights both the benefits and importance of having a diverse governing board so that the people making decisions about schools reflect and our trusted by the communities they serve.

According to the NGA’s annual school governance survey, only 4% of governors and trustees come from a Black, Asian or Minority ethnic background, whilst 10% are aged under 40 and only 1% of all governors are aged under 30. The worrying fact for our schools is that these percentages have remained stubbornly unchanged for the last two decades.

Currently in England today around a third of the pupil population are from an ethnic minority background yet, the people leading schools and making strategic decisions on behalf of students do not always reflect this diversity of young people within schools.

By joining a governing board, individuals from a broad variety of backgrounds, ages and experiences can bring different ways of thinking and give a voice to groups that may not otherwise be reflected. They can also act as role models to children and young people, giving them the confidence to achieve, raise and broaden their aspirations. Individuals can bring unique insights to the governing board, overseeing and influencing decisions, which in turn helps them develop board-level skills and experience which can be taken back to the workplace.

The 'Everyone on Board' campaign features six governors sharing personal experiences on the importance of becoming governors.
The ‘Everyone on Board’ campaign features six governors sharing personal experiences on the importance of becoming governors

Volunteers already serving as governors have said:

“In my community, young people often have low aspirations. Seeing me, a young governor from a minority ethnic background can really inspire them and change their perceptions of what they can achieve.” – Jordan Holder

“Education is so powerful and one of the biggest tools for social mobility, so people making decisions about education need to be the best and the brightest so, by rights, should be diverse. I strongly believe that everyone should do their bit to make things better and that people that want to see change in education should roll up their sleeves, get involved, and be part of making that change happen.” -Yinka Ewuola

The campaign has the support of Damian Hinds the Secretary of State for Education and the Association of School and College Leaders.

Dominic Judge, Director of Governance programmes at Education and Employers which runs Inspiring Governance, said: “..School communities and the pupils within them are vibrant and diverse, and we need governors of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to strengthen decision-making to ensure communities trust schools and all children can thrive. If we can tap into the skills and talents of a new generation of governors, I know they can improve education for the next generation.”

Despite a quarter of a million people across England already volunteering as school governors or trustees, it is estimated that one in ten governor positions are vacant.

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association, said: “…NGA is encouraging the quarter of a million people already governing to consider whether their own governing board reflects the community it serves and to act on this. Inspiring Governance – the free governor recruitment and support service – is one route to achieving this.”

Individuals interested in becoming a governor or trustee can visit the Everyone on Board page to find out more, or sign up below:

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If you’re not able to sign up right away but would like us to keep in touch or need more information, please provide your details here:

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