Over the past 12-months, the Coronavirus pandemic has placed enormous strain on almost every area of our national infrastructure, with some of the heaviest burden being placed on schools and academies as teachers and governing boards try to navigate choppy strategic waters in 2021.
But what Covid-19 has also shown is the incredible spirit of community that exists in Britain, perhaps best evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who have volunteered to help in the national effort.
At the start of January, Education and Employers Charity released their ‘Value of Volunteering’ research report, which examines the multiple benefits of volunteering in schools for individuals, employers and young people alike, and shows a direct correlation between educational volunteering and both career development and health and well-being.
And there are few better ways to gain vital-board level experience, develop personal and professional skills, whilst giving something back to the local community than by volunteering as a school governor or trustee in schools and academies across the country.
Why not sign-up to volunteer as a school governor or trustee here.
The Value of Volunteer report found:
Skills & Competencies: 80% or more reported benefits for communication, influencing and relationship skills with over half reporting benefits for leadership and decision-making.
Productivity & Career Gains: 26% report greater productivity at work, with 44% of them reporting manager recognition for the impact of their volunteering. More than a third even said volunteering helps them apply for different or more senior roles.
Motivation & Mission: 79% reported improvements to their sense of mission at work as a result of volunteering in education – and 68% reported greater motivation at work.
Volunteers know that what they do makes a difference: over 99% of volunteers describe impacts for young people and 94% felt they gained a better understanding of society and social issues.
The new research, funded by Bank of America, tallies with previous Education and Employers research over the last ten years which shows that when students have encounters with volunteers from the world of work it has benefits to their educational outcomes. This research found that meeting real life role models from the world of work improves academic attainment at GCSE level, increases young people’s earning potential, broadens young peoples’ horizons and raises their aspirations.
Hearing from volunteers also helps to excite children about subjects, increases motivation, confidence, and attitude to learning as well as challenging gender and social stereotypes and reducing the likelihood of young people becoming NEET.
Peter Cheese, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said:
“When employers help volunteering, it is rewarded with loyalty. This report shows two thirds of volunteers are more likely to speak positively about their employer and half are more satisfied at work.
“Such loyalty can reduce costs associated with turnover and improve how staff interact with customers and partners.
“Indeed, if we consider the productivity benefits flowing from well-being and motivation, as well as brand and CSR value, volunteering may be one of the best investments an employer can make.”
Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers, said:
“The pandemic has caused a significant loss of learning for pupils of all ages – experienced most acutely by those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Volunteers from the world of work provide young people with inspiration, they help broaden their horizons, raise aspirations and increase motivation which leads to improved attainment.
“Our interactive virtual volunteering programme has enabled young people across the country to connect with an amazing range of volunteers and such is the demand that we need many people to get involved.
“A strategic role as a governor or even just one hour a year talking to young people about their job and career route can make a big difference.”
Sign-up to volunteer as a school governor here.