Today, the National Governance Association (NGA) and Times Educational Supplement (TES) have released their annual school governance report.
The report gives thousands of governors the chance to voice their views and concerns about governance and the wider education system.
According to Emma Knight, Chief Executive of the NGA, ‘despite the vital role that they play in the education system, the views of governing boards are often overlooked in conversations about national education policy’.
So, this is the perfect opportunity, in the absence of academic research, for governors to have their voices heard and their concerns acted upon.
One of the key findings in the report shows that governance remains a great way for volunteers to serve their community.
The report found that 67% of governors were motivated by the ability to make a difference in young people’s lives, with 60% join governing boards to serve the community.
61% of respondents said they were motivated by the potential to utilise existing skills. And governance has been shown to be a ‘valuable form of professional development’ with over three quarters of those surveyed feeling they had gained from governance in their work life.
Survey respondents come from various backgrounds, with educational professionals (35%), those in managerial, directorial, or senior roles (26%), and other professionals (21%) having the highest representation.
Challenges remain in increasing the representation of ethnic minorities on school governing boards with only 1% of governors identifying as Black/African/Caribbean/Black British, and 2% identifying as Asian or Asian British.
The report also highlights that younger people remain under represented on governing boards, with a lack of serving governors aged under 40.
To address this, Inspiring Governance, in partnership with the NGA, has launched its Everyone on Board campaign to increase the participation of people from ethnic minorities and young people in school governance.
The survey reveals that recruiting volunteers to govern schools remains challenging. Nearly 40% of respondents reported 2 or more vacancies on their governing board. The report also identifies a lack of movement between governing bodies with over a quarter of respondents having exceeded the recommended limit of 8 years in a single school.
Inspiring Governance meets both of these challenges head on. The easy-to-use online platform allows governing bodies to connect simply and quickly with potential volunteers based on their location and skills. And the service can also be used by governors nearing the end of their term and looking to use the expertise they have gained to benefit other governing boards.