School governance recruitment and support service 

Inspiring Governance is a free online school governance recruitment service used by thousands of chairs, and clerks of governing boards and connects skilled volunteers interested in serving as school governors or trustees. We support schools across England, from maintained schools and multi academy trusts to diocesan trusts and local authorities to find skilled governors, trustees and chairs for their boards.

Over 95% of users would recommend Inspiring Governance to other schools and trusts

“Overall, the service has been exceptional – not just in the quality of the people we have been able to recruit and their readiness to commit to the role, but also in the training support offered to them all by the National Governance Association.”

Cary Wicks, Chair of Governors, Carter Community School

We raise the profile of school governors and the opportunity to volunteer, and also work with employers, professional networks, FE providers and universities to find individuals interested in becoming school governors.

The service is funded by the Department for Education and run by the charity Education and Employers in partnership with the National Governance Association (NGA), with support from Academy Ambassadors, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). 

Getting the right people around the table

Ensuring your board has a good blend of knowledge, skills, and experiences, along with a balanced and diverse set of views and backgrounds, is essential to driving school improvement. 
Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, professions and sectors, with skills and expertise in areas such as finance, human resources, law, marketing and education. 

Learn more

Recruiting and retaining skilled governors or trustees:
Download the popular NGA guide: The right people around the table (PDF).
Everyone on Board: increasing governing board diversity

How the service works

Whether you have a current vacancy to fill or you just want to browse, the Inspiring Governance recruitment website gives you access to volunteers from your community who want to become a governor or trustee. 

Our recruitment site’s innovative mapping technology lets governing boards seeking new volunteers view all the volunteers in their area or specify the skills they're looking for and connect with volunteers directly and begin the process of recruiting. All opportunities are made public within the platform, so they can be viewed by volunteers too.

A useful feature of the service includes a ‘multi-school recruiter’ option to make it easier for those recruiting governors or trustees for multiple schools including multi academy trusts, local authorities, dioceses and federations to do so. 

Map from innovative mapping technology

An example of the mapping technology that enables you to view volunteers in your local area.

Signing up

Volunteers sign-up to become a governor or trustee, providing their location and listing the skills and experience they can offer to a board. Governing boards seeking new volunteers can view all the volunteers in their area or specify the skills they're looking for, connect with volunteers directly and begin the process of recruiting.

  1. Schools and trusts can sign up to Inspiring Governance – you’ll need to share a few details to get set up.
  2. Create an opportunity including details of your school and the vacancy.
  3. Use the map to explore the profiles of volunteers near you.
  4. Connect with volunteers you are interested in through the platform by sending an invitation.
  5. Communicate with volunteers through the platform’s messaging system where you can also exchange attachments.
  6. When you and the volunteer are ready to progress, follow your normal recruitment process to check they are right for your governing board – this should include an interview, completing DBS checks and references, a visit to the school or observing a governing board meeting.
  7. When you appoint a volunteer, let the Inspiring Governance team know to access the free support service.

Good to know

  • All opportunities are made public within the platform, so they can be viewed by volunteers.

  • You can browse volunteers too – useful if you don’t have a current vacancy or just want to see who is in your local community.

  • It is your responsibility to ensure the volunteers are right for your governing board (and that your governing board is right for them), including completing DBS checks and references.  

Find out more

Call 020 7566 4880
Email [email protected]

Recruiting a future chair

We run a Future Chairs Recruitment Service, which helps boards with the vital task of recruiting high-calibre individuals who have the potential to become either a chair, vice-chair or committee chair within a year of joining a school governing board.

Learn more about our Future Chairs recruitment service

Free support for new governors and trustees

Free support and expert guidance for 12 months

When you find and appoint volunteers through Inspiring Governance, NGA will provide them with free support and expert guidance for 12 months. This is designed to help new appointments feel confident and capable in their new roles, giving them the essential knowledge and skills to help them govern effectively.

Each new appointment will receive:

  • a complimentary copy of an NGA guide to give you a comprehensive overview of your governance role and responsibilities. Welcome to Governance or Welcome to a Multi Academy Trust (dependent on school type)

  • access to NGA’s extensive online Knowledge Centre containing practical resources, guidance and insight, including a digital copy of Governing Matters magazine

  • access to a dedicated email and telephone line staffed by professional advisers to answer your questions and offer support.

  • NGA’s weekly e-newsletter featuring the latest education news and policy updates that governance volunteers need to know.

  • access to a dedicated email and telephone line staffed by professional advisers to answer your questions and offer support.

  • a monthly email for new governors and trustees focusing on a topical aspect of governance, including top tips for effective practice and signposting to further resources.

  • membership of the Young Governors’ Network for governors and trustees aged under 40, to help them connect with and learn from other young governance volunteers.

  • a free place at NGA member conferences and events.

"I’m very impressed with Inspiring Governance, both in the response from volunteers and in the support available. The induction provided by the National Governance Association is in step with how the trust inducts new governors and I will continue to use and recommend the service to others."

Warren Carratt, CEO, Nexus Multi Academy Trust

Free online training for new governors and trustees

NGA Learning Link 

The free support to governors and trustees appointed through Inspiring Governance includes access to online training induction modules on NGA Learning Link e-learning for 12 months. This will support your governance development with flexible e-learning at a time and pace that suits you. With over 50 high-quality e-learning modules, in-depth induction modules and bitesize, ‘just in time’ modules, NGA Learning Link providing flexible e-learning at a time and pace that suits the leaner.

The core modules include:

  • Governance: roles and responsibilities

  • Your organisation: Curriculum and school structures

  • Strategy: Vision and values

  • Progress and attainment: understanding school data

  • Resources: finance and staffing

  • Working together: building the team

  • Compliance: statutory responsibilities and risk

  • Effectiveness: making an impact and changing lives

  • Arts and cultural education: improving your school and its curriculum

  • Safeguarding: the governor’s role

This support and training is designed to complement your governing board's local and face-to-face training. 

"We use Inspiring Governance exclusively as it meets all our needs. The support from NGA is valuable and all our new governors complete the eight modules on Learning Link for their induction."

David Linsell, Director of Local Governance, The Kemnal Academies Trust

How schools and trusts are benefiting

Visit the Inspiring Governance website to sign up and learn more about how schools and trusts are already benefiting from Inspiring Governance. 

“We needed a fresh perspective but when you drain the local network where do you go? We’ve now found governors with skills that can help to raise specific standards. There is absolutely no question – we couldn’t have done this without Inspiring Governance.”

Andrew Collyer, Chair of Governors, King’s Norton Boys’ School

“I was really pleased to have another avenue to explore with Inspiring Governance. Following the initial support from incredibly helpful regional staff, I found it to be very useful in seeing the industries volunteers work in and how the skills they list could help our schools.”​

Julia Skinner, Trustee, Endeavour Academy Trust

“It has been absolutely great. It was easy to contact volunteers and we got a really swift response. I can’t fault the service and have already recommended it to other schools.”

Alex Allison, Headteacher, Broomfield Primary School

“I’m very happy with the appointments. They’ve brought a new energy to the group as well as having a genuine interest in young people, and knowledge and skills to share.”

Michael McManus, Chair of Governors Ridgeway High School

Find out more

Call 020 7566 4880
Email [email protected]

Connect With Us
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  • Phone: 0121 237 3780 | Contact Us
  • Charity Number: 1070331 | Company Number 3549029

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