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£1 million to help schools recruit high-calibre governors

New online tool and more bespoke support for schools that find it hard to recruit the expertise they need.

More than £1 million to help schools across England recruit highly-skilled governors was announced yesterday (18 March 2015) by Schools Minister Lord Nash.

It is crucial that experienced and knowledgeable school governors are appointed to help schools improve and hold headteachers to account, but many schools still find it hard to recruit governors with the particular expertise they need.

The funding, provided by the Department for Education (DfE), will support a new partnership between SGOSS - Governors for Schools and the Education and Employers Taskforce, to recruit and place more high-calibre governors in schools. An online tool will be developed to help more schools search for suitable volunteers and more bespoke support will be available to the schools that find it the hardest to recruit the experienced governors they need.

Improving the quality of school governance is a key part of the government’s plan for education. In an increasingly school-led system, confident and robust school governance is vital so that clear strategic direction is set, headteachers are properly held to account for performance, and school budgets are well managed.

SGOSS - Governors for Schools and the Education and Employers Taskforce are founding members of the Inspiring Governors Alliance - an initiative launched by the DfE in May 2014 to inspire more high-calibre people to:

  • volunteer as governors
  • raise awareness among employers about the benefits of supporting their staff to be governors
  • encourage more governing bodies to actively recruit governors based on their skills

The alliance and its aims are supported by the school leaders’ unions ASCL and NAHT, as well as the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and employer bodies including the CBI.

School Minister Lord Nash said:

Good governance is an essential part of any school and as part of our plan for education we are determined to further support schools to find more experienced individuals who can use their skills and knowledge to help improve standards of education.

We always achieve more when we work together and the Inspiring Governors Alliance is playing a vital role in attracting great people to be governors. This extra £1 million funding will help even more schools recruit the right people with the right skills.

Clifford Boroughs, SGOSS Chair of Trustees said:

The government’s ongoing funding of SGOSS is recognition of our proven track record for placing high-quality governors in schools and colleges. We are particularly excited about working closely with the Education and Employers Taskforce to place more governors across more of the country.

David Cruickshank, Chair of the Education and Employers Charity said:

The success of Inspiring the Future shows that online matching offers schools and colleges, and willing volunteers a powerful and convenient way to find each other. It is fully scaleable and incredibly cost efficient. It will help revolutionise the way in which governing bodies are able to find highly-skilled people to serve as governors. We are delighted to be working more closely with SGOSS, particularly using our extensive employer contacts to help recruit governors in the most challenging areas.

Notes to editors

  1. SGOSS - Governors for Schools will receive continued support from the department totalling £730,000 in 2015 to 2016, while the Education and Employers Taskforce will receive DfE funding for governor recruitment for the first time to the value of £280,000.
  2. The Inspiring Governors Alliance was established by a small steering committee comprising of the Education and Employer Taskforce, SGOSS, the NGA, CBI, NCOGS, DfE and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
  3. The alliance is backed by a wide range of organisations including the government (DfE and BIS), those representing employers (such as the CBI and FSB), governors (such as the National Governors’ Association, NCOGS and SGOSS), schools leaders (ASCL and NAHT), professional bodies (such as the AoC and CIPD), individual employers (ranging from Allen & Overy to WPP) and numerous private and third-sector organisations.
  4. Education and Employers Taskforce was launched as a small independent charity in October 2009, and has 14 staff. Its aim is to ensure that every school and college has effective partnerships with employers - which provide young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need - to help them achieve their potential and so secure our national prosperity. The Taskforce’s Partnership Board comprises the leaders of the main representative organisations from education and employment. The charity runs the free, national scheme that connects schools and volunteers Inspiring the Future.
  5. SGOSS - Governors for Schools has been recruiting school governor volunteers with transferable business skills since January 2000. They work with employers across England to recruit volunteers with the skills to help schools and impact on the education outcomes for children. In the last 2 years they have recruited over 8,000 volunteers. They provide a bespoke service matching the skills of the volunteers to the skills requested by schools.

DfE enquiries

Central newsdesk 020 7783 8300

General enquiries 0370 000 2288


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