Release date: 14/01/2021

This call for participants has now ended. Thank you to all of those who volunteered to take part. 

To increase recruitment and retention of volunteers from underrepresented groups in school governance roles, the National Governance Association (NGA) has today (14 January) announced qualitative research into the experiences of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnicities and people aged under 40.

Through a series of focus groups, current governors and trustees from Black, Asian and minority ethnicities and young people (aged under 40) will be asked about their experience of being recruited to the board and of governing in terms of the dynamics and practice of the board, while people from the same groups who do not currently volunteer as a school governor or trustee will be asked about their awareness and perception of the role.

The aim of the research is to identify how governing boards can achieve wider diversity in their composition and develop more inclusive practices, and how the sector can best enable those from underrepresented groups to govern. This will further the work of NGA and Inspiring Governance’s Everyone on Board campaign that seeks to increase the diversity of governing boards.

Evidence shows that both people from Black, Asian and minority ethnicities and young people (aged under 40) are significantly underrepresented in school governance. Only 4% of governors and trustees are from an ethnic minority while 11% of governors and trustees are aged 40 or under according to NGA’s annual school governance survey 2020. As a result, there is often a significant gap between the diversity of governing boards and the pupils, wider school community and general population which they serve.

NGA’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work is informed by the insight and experiences of governors, trustees, governance professionals and education professionals who have lived or professional experience of EDI. The need for research into this topic emerged from NGA’s diversity and equalities advisory group, and the research has been designed in consultation with the NGA/BAMEed network governance hub.

The research is being developed and delivered in partnership with Inspiring Governance, GovernorHub and The Key.

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