Is now the time to become an ‘Educator on Board’?

….and a huge thank you to those at all levels in the education system who have so skilfully been working as part of governing boards steering schools and colleges through the pandemic.

2020-21 has been an extraordinary year for those working across education. The response to the Covid pandemic at all levels of the system – right from adapting education policy to running frontline schools and colleges – has required immense resilience, courage and innovation.

School and college governing boards have quietly played their critical part in this response, challenging and supporting school leaders to achieve the best for their students in difficult and exceptional circumstances.

On all of these governing boards there will have been colleagues from different fields of education.

These colleagues bring their expert skills and experiences to bear in making the right strategic decisions for schools. Many of these will be elected staff governors but many are volunteers from different schools and from all parts of the education system.

And research shows they are still critically needed!

Research undertaken by NfER for the DfE last year showed that three of the top seven skill sets sought by governing boards are education related: namely – local, regional and national policy knowledge; educational expertise; and school improvement expertise.

To help meet this need, the National Governance Association and Inspiring Governance launched their joint Educators on Board campaign back in summer 2019 and, since this time, we have worked with a range of brilliant organisations and individuals to get hundreds more educators….on boards!

A huge thank you (amongst many) to:

  • The Department for Education’s governor network, who have promoted governance to their colleagues, getting policy expertise onto school boards and taking back lessons to inform future policy
  • LA governor services who work tirelessly to promote and support the governance role and many of whom govern themselves
  • Professional Associations like ASCL and the NAHT who have promoted governance to their school leader members as a great CPD opportunity
  • Staff governors/ trustees from a wide range of education charities like Ambition Institute, New Schools Network and Teach First (including Inspiring Governance and NGA staff)
  • All the HEIs/ universities who have supported our School Governor Champions initiative and all university staff who govern
  • The Chartered College of Teaching who have promoted governance as a CPD opportunity for their members
  • Independent school associations like the Independent Schools Council who have promoted the campaign relentlessly to members, helping the exchange and two-way flow of ideas and practice between state and independent sectors
  • Awarding bodies like Cambridge Assessment and NCFE whose staff volunteer for governance in their local schools and colleges
  • FE and Sixth Form Colleges and sector organisations like the Society for Education and Training who have promoted governance to their members
  • Academy Trusts like Astrea and Nexus who have become School Governor Champions and encourage their staff to govern in local schools outside their trust.
  • The thousands of individual school leaders, teachers and education professionals who have volunteered for the role through Inspiring Governance and other routes

School and College governance is a great opportunity to make a difference in a setting outside of your own education role. It will obviously depend on your own circumstances and whether you have the time to undertake a governance role but, if you are looking for a CPD opportunity and to increase your understanding of both governance and schools/ colleges why not take a look at the Educators on Board campaign to find out more about signing up and making a difference.

Find out more and sign up


Jill Duffy, Chief Executive of OCR said: “By partnering with Inspiring Governance we can further our mission to help learners unlock their potential. We believe in the importance of the School Governor role in developing and maintaining resilient schools in our local communities and, as an organisation, we want to support staff and colleagues to grow and excel by becoming governors themselves.”