Ibstock Community College

Caroline Smithers

Business Manager

Ibstock Community College

We are a middle school academy in North West Leicestershire with an age range of 11-14. Our facilities also include a day nursery which is run by the college, and a leisure complex which is run jointly by the college and North West Leicestershire District Council. Both are for the benefit of the local community.

We gained academy status in September 2012 which allows us to make our own decisions on how the college is run with more autonomy on how key resources are deployed, ensuring the best outcomes for our students.  However, our rural location and a relatively small pool of local employers makes recruiting governors to oversee these key decisions sometimes challenging.

Whilst it is important to find the right people with the right skills for our board, we also feel that it is essential to recruit people who are committed to taking on the role and ideally who live locally. A governor’s role isn’t just about attending meetings, but being able to truly support the college and the senior leadership team by getting involved in college activities and events. We have found that this is more successful if they live relatively close.

For our latest recruitment drive we used Inspiring Governance and found the overall experience fantastic.  At first we had a little difficulty with the portal, but then our Inspiring Governance Regional Manager became involved, and he helped us identify potential volunteers through a process of bespoke matching. We have truly benefited from this personal approach and his regional knowledge.

He helped us identify potential governor volunteers, who all lived within a 20-mile radius of the school.  Contact was made by sending an invitation through the platform and the number of positive responses received far exceeded our expectations.

The recruitment process isn’t yet quite complete, but potential governors have now met with the Principal to discuss the opportunity further and the Chair of Governors has made contact with each of them. The next stage is for the volunteers to submit a declaration of eligibility to the clerk and we are very much hoping that in the very near future that we will have three new governors joining us thanks to Inspiring Governance.

The volunteers’ backgrounds are banking, law and education. Although we started out looking for keen, locally based, committed volunteers, what we’ve ended up with is also a great mix of skills!

We will certainly be using inspiring Governance in the future.