New campaign urges employers to support local school governance and develop their staff

Inspiring Governance has launched a national campaign urging employers across England to support local school governance. The campaign highlights how organisations, individuals and young people can all benefit from employees volunteering as school governors.

Spearheading the campaign is a short film in which school children describe the urgent need for more people to volunteer as school governors and trustees.  They can also be seen encouraging employers to use school governance as a way of building tangible links with the local community and making a positive impact on the life chances of young people.

Employers also benefit significantly because by volunteering as a school governor, employees can develop their professional skills in a board-level environment which they can bring back to the workplace.  School governing bodies are responsible for setting strategy, overseeing financial performance and holding senior leaders to account, so volunteers gain experience in, amongst other things, strategic planning, and the management of finances and people.  They also develop wider skills from working as part of a management team.  All of this experience is then brought back into their workplace with obvious benefits to the individuals and their employers.   It really is a win-win situation.

Despite a quarter of a million people across England already volunteering as school governors, it is estimated that one in ten school governor positions are vacant, and there is a particular challenge to recruit governors in rural areas, deprived areas and schools that ‘require improvement’ according to Ofsted.

Inspiring Governance helps employers to set up and support staff governance schemes and to provide resources to actively promote the opportunity to staff.  Volunteers are introduced to schools that are looking for governors or trustees.  For the employer, the involvement of employees can be tracked and reported upon via a state of the art on-line matchmaking service developed to meet the requirements of CSR and HR managers.  Employers also have the comfort of knowing that their staff will receive support in their new volunteer role. This is because all appointments made through Inspiring Governance can access free expert help and support via a dedicated telephone and e-mail support service and CPD accredited online training, all provided by the National Governance Association.

Dominic Judge, Director of Governance Programmes at Education and Employers, said: “Becoming involved in school governance really is a win-win opportunity for employers. In supporting employees to volunteer, organisations have a lot to gain.  They can develop their workforce, increase the motivation of their staff and, at the same time, have the feel-good factor of making a real impact in their local community. Inspiring Governance makes it easy for businesses to take advantage of this opportunity for free workforce development, by providing access to CPD support and a simple platform for staff to register their interest and the skills they can offer.”

Employers have cited the importance of helping develop the next generation whilst developing their current staff:

Jennifer Taylor, EMEA Compliance and Operational Risk Executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “As a major financial institution, we recognise the importance of good governance – we also believe it is our duty to support education. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging our employees to act as school governors and trustees. The Inspiring Governance initiative makes this really easy for us.”

Employers interested in supporting their employees to volunteer as school governors can visit our Employers page to find out more.

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