Who can register to use the service?
The Inspiring Governance service is available for all state schools and colleges in England. You can register as a Head, Chair, Clerk or a Governor Recruiter on behalf of your school or college. You can also register on behalf of your nursery if it is attached to a Primary. Please note the service is not available for standalone nurseries that do not include children of compulsory school age.
Does Inspiring Governance provide training or support for governors?
Yes. The National Governance Association (NGA) is providing free support and expert guidance for governors/trustees appointed through the Inspiring Governance service, via a dedicated helpline as well as through induction materials and online guidance.
- a dedicated telephone and email support through their first year
- NGA’s Welcome to Governance induction guide for governors in both multi-academy trusts and maintained schools
- access to NGA’s online guidance centre containing a wealth of resources
- free training through NGA’s e-learning induction programme (8 themed modules)
- membership of the Young Governors’ Network for volunteers under the age of 40
Do volunteers have Enhanced DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks?
We do not organise Enhanced DBS checks, as we expect that schools will do this as part of their usual induction process for new governors.
Do you vet what volunteers say in their profile?
We take it on trust that volunteers have been honest about their skills and experience. There are also legal terms and conditions that they must agree to before registration. Governing boards will want to go through their usual interview process to ensure that volunteers are suitable for the role.
Can I recruit for a parent governor?
We recognise that schools do struggle to get parent governors. If your Governing Board can show that they have been unable to elect a parent governor, they can recruit externally with Inspiring Governance. It is possible for you to post a parent governor vacancy, however we would advise you to have tried to recruit from the parent body first and ensure any potential volunteer has a school age child. You would also need to make this clear in your invitation to potential volunteers through the Inspiring Governance website.
Can I use the service on behalf of a number of schools?
Yes. The Inspiring Governance platform enables those recruiting on behalf of multiple schools to register and use the platform under one account with one login. You can register multiple governor vacancies under one login. To register, go to: ‘Sign up’, ‘To recruit for multiple schools – register here’ and follow the registration steps. Download the Multi-School: User Guide for information on how to create and manage your governor vacancies.
How do I create and manage my vacancies?
For full instructions on how to create and manage you governor vacancies, and search for volunteers download our User guide for Inspiring Governance.
Through the website you can:
- Create a listing for single or multiple governor vacancies.
- Make your vacancy public to our database of volunteers so they can express an interest.
- Search for volunteers – either before or after you create your vacancy/opportunity – and send them an invitation.
- Invite volunteers to apply for your vacancy and view their responses.
How do I search for volunteers?
There are two ways to find volunteers with Inspiring Governance.
- Search for volunteers in your area who have the skill set you are looking for.
1. Once you have signed up, log in as a recruiting governor.
2. Search for volunteers in your area who have indicated specific skills, and who are interested in a governance role.
3. Read their profiles and select the volunteer/s you would like to invite for an exploratory phone call about becoming a governor/trustee.
4. Send them an invitation and wait for them to respond.
- Advertise (make public) your vacancies to registered volunteers in your area on our secure site.
1. Once you have signed up, log in as a recruiting governor.
2. Register your vacancy on the site. You will include information about the skills you are looking for and a short description of the role.
3. Make your vacancy available (public) to registered volunteers on the site. This will be displayed to them on a map.
4. When volunteers contact you, read their profile and decide if you would like a further conversation with them about the role.
Who am I seeing when I search for volunteers?
The volunteers you can see have indicated that they are interested in being a governor/trustee in the area your school is located, and that they meet the criteria (skills, industry) you have selected. You can filter volunteers by:
- Sector they work in
- The professional skills you are looking for
If you click ‘View Profile’ for a volunteer, you can see their full profile, including a brief job description, their preferred postcode and how far they are willing to travel. To see the full list of volunteers available, leave all the search fields blank and click ‘Search’.
How many invitations should I send?
Not every volunteer will be right for your school context or your governor role. Therefore we recommend sending invitations to all the potential governors who match your criteria. If you receive multiple replies, you can use an interview process to decide who is the best fit for your governing board. If on your first attempt you don’t find the governor you need, you can easily go back into the system and send additional invitations.
What if I can’t find a volunteer that fits my criteria?
Try widening your search. Your search will bring up all the volunteers who say they have at least one of the skills you have ticked, so the more skills you tick, the more volunteers you’ll have to choose from. If you do not tick any skills or industries, all the volunteers in your area will be shown. If you’re really struggling, once you have run your search fill out the ‘Can’t Find Suitable Volunteers’ form which will appear at the bottom of the search page or contact email@example.com and we’ll look to help.
What should I include in the message?
Our system will automatically include in your message the name of your school, the phase (e.g. primary), and the skills you have said you’re looking for. In your message it is helpful to state:
- The school name and where you are located
- Who you are
- A bit about the context of your school
- A bit about what’s expected of the role
Invite them to have a telephone conversation to find out more and to see if it will be a good fit for both of you. As much as you can, personalise your message. Let them know what you liked about their profile that prompted you to invite them. Volunteers may not be familiar with how schools work. Therefore, watch out for jargon, abbreviations and school language that might not be understood. Check out these sample emails for inspiration.
What happens to my invitations?
The system will send your message(s). Volunteers reply though the system indicating whether they are interested in finding out more about your vacancy. Their response will be emailed automatically to you via the system. If they are interested, we suggest you have a telephone call to find out more about them and tell them about the role. If it appears to be a good fit, you can follow your normal interview process for governors.
How do I view or respond to messages?
To view and respond to messages go to ‘Manage Opportunities’, click on the ‘View and edit’ button and the ‘Volunteers’ button. You will then see a list of volunteer you invited and their status ie. whether they accepted, declined or requested more information. To see the process in full click here.
Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contacts so that replies arrive in your inbox, rather than spam or junk mail.
I haven’t heard back from volunteers. What can I do?
We send text messages once a week to those volunteers who have not responded to an invitation. However, it may be that some volunteers simply do not respond. Remember that new volunteers sign up all the time. If you don’t have success the first time around, keep checking back to see who else has joined. If you really get stuck please email us on email@example.com and we’ll try to help. You can sort by the newest volunteers first. This is a good way of getting those volunteers who have most recently registered and are keen.