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We know that school and trust governance is almost always invisible when it is working well, and very much in the spotlight when things go wrong. We want that to change. 

That is why we are asking you to join us to champion the positive difference good governance makes to schools and trusts.

We are asking governors, trustees, and governance professionals to be bold and positive and stand up and shout about what they do and why they do it. We want you to highlight your contribution to the education system, and the different you make to children and young people and your communities.

We are also encouraging the people and organisations who value the role of school and trust governance to champion and participate in the campaign.

With your support, we can achieve a higher profile and better understanding of governance, and further improve outcomes for children and their communities – a goal which we know will be important to you too.

About the campaign

We see a future where governance is at the forefront of people’s minds when they think about schools, trusts and education. A future where the integral role governance plays in the success  of schools and trusts is understood. 


Good governance is not an insurance policy which picks up the pieces when things have gone awry; it is a central component of a successful organisation. Through this collective action, we want school governance to take its rightful place as a visible, valued and understood component of the education system.


In 2020, NGA launched its Visible Governance in Schools campaign to celebrate, champion and raise the profile of the impact of good governance on schools. We were delighted with how governance volunteers and professionals and the wider education community, embraced the campaign.


We continue to share ideas and listen to yours, promote activities and resources to celebrate the power of governance and the people that volunteer for the role and encourage more and more people to sign up to be governors or trustees. As before, however, we need your help. 

The role of school governors and trustees - animated film

We are proud to present this short, animated film designed to highlight school and trust governance and explain what you do and your role. This film is for use by anyone who wants to spread the word about the importance and value of school and trust governance. 


Explaining the of governors and trustees and how they support schools and trusts to succeed, the film can help volunteers share what they do, the difference they make, as well has help boards, schools, trusts and other organisations recruit new volunteers. 


We want you to share this film far and wide while we share it with our partners, friends, and member organisations. We know you are proud of the work you do for your community and school and are often faced with confusion over what you do and why you do it. This film is designed to help you answer that question.

For more information on the film and some handy tips on how you can help us spreading the messages visit the film page. 

 

Recruitment

Schools and trusts are struggling to recruit people to their boards. Findings from NGA’s 2022 annual governance survey show that 67% of schools have a least one governor or trustee vacancy with a staggering 35% reporting two or more.

By highlighting your work, the benefits to the community and to you, we hope to encourage more people to come forward to volunteer.  The above film and the activities below are designed to make it easier for the public to understand school governance and to encourage them to apply. 

We will continue to offer support and resources to help governing boards encourage applications from a wide and diverse range of people across your communities. For more information on recruiting volunteers visit NGA’s recruitment page
 

What we have planned

Throughout the campaign we will:

  • Encourage and equip individual governors, trustees and governance professionals, and boards to be visible through activities and resources
  • Share inspiring examples of visibility and the impact of good governance
  • Work with key groups to increase both understanding and volunteering
  • Continue to raise the profile of school governance in the media and with national policy makers
  • Highlight the different aspects of governance with various groups including education professionals, employers, parents and pupils
  • Recognise and celebrate the contribution of boards and governance professionals through the Outstanding Governance Awards
  • Encourage and offer support to people to nominate for a national honour governors, trustees and governance professionals who have made a significant individual contribution to education.
  • Encourage more people to apply to be school governors or trustees by making the role visible and attractive

Support from the wider education sector

Governance is about who has the power, who makes the decisions, how other people make their voices heard and how account is rendered. Governors and trustees make a significant contribution to education, but they are not the only ones who need to be involved in ensuring good governance: #VisibleGovernance is about organisations and people in the schools sector working together so that everyone understands how they can engage to ensure the best possible decisions are made in the interests of children and young people. Below are some quotes from our partners and expressing their support for our Visible Governance campaign.

Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System, comments: “I welcome, and am pleased to support, the relaunch of NGA’s Visible Governance campaign. Governing boards and governance support has an important role in our school system and this campaign recognises the contribution of over 250,000 volunteer governors and trustees and their governance professionals and clerks. Robust and effective governance is central to overseeing the strategic direction of a school or trust and has a key role in improving and raising standards for children and young people with the aim of delivering excellent outcomes.”

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments: “ASCL is delighted to back the Visible Governance campaign to highlight the vital contribution of governors and trustees. People freely give up their time to do these unpaid roles so that they can make a difference, providing in equal measure the scrutiny and support which helps schools to deliver successful outcomes for their pupils. Visible Governance is a great way of celebrating their work as well as encouraging others to become governors and trustees so they too can make a difference.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, comments: “NAHT recognises the critical role that school governance plays in the health and success of the school system, and promotes the need for governing boards and school leaders to effectively work together to ensure school improvement. We are pleased to see these volunteers being given more attention, as we need high-quality individuals who can best represent their school communities, with an emphasis on diversity and an insistence on mandatory training. As such we will commit to making governance more visible within our work in 2020, supporting school leaders to engage well with their governing boards in the interests of children and young people.”

Stephen Morales, CEO, the Institute of School Business Leadership comments: “ISBL recognises that good governance is a really important part of successful schools and trusts, as one of the three pillars of education leadership. We commit to making governance more visible within our work throughout 2020, and we encourage school business professionals to support the campaign and recognise the role of school governance too. We know that so many school business professionals already choose to govern in a different school/trust and that they really value the experience, in particular how it enables them to work more effectively with their own governing board, and hope to encourage many more to do so.”

 

 

Resources and getting involved

Find out more about our Visible Governance activity and how you can get involved:

Celebration and recognition

Actions to make governance visible

Executive leaders and their boards

Governance professionals

Resources

Follow us on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see more activity on the campaign and check out the hashtag #VisibleGovernance to see how others are getting involved.

Partner with us

If you are local authority, local association, groups of schools, diocese, education sector organisation, employer or other organisation wishing to collaborate in this campaign, we would be delighted to work with you and share ideas – please contact visible@nga.org.uk.

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you about your ideas how we can make governance more visible. We are also on the lookout for inspiring case studies and examples of good governance in your community. Please get in touch to share your story by emailing visible@nga.org.uk

 


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