Recruit governors or trustees

"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

Inspiring Governance is a free, online service that connects volunteers who are interested in becoming governors and trustees with schools that need them.

Getting the right people around the table

One of the eight elements of effective governance is having 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, is essential to driving school improvement. Whether you have a current vacancy to fill or you just want to browse, Inspiring Governance gives you access to volunteers from your community that want to become a governor or trustee and free support is provided to your appointees by the National Governance Association.

To support governing boards in recruiting and retaining skilled governors or trustees, NGA has updated its popular and practical guide, The right people around the table

Be in control of your recruitment

Our innovative mapping technology lets you connect with volunteers based on their location and skills. Inspiring Governance is available to all state-funded schools in England that need to recruit governors or trustees, and is used by thousands of chairs and clerks of governing boards. Recent developments to the service introducing a ‘multi-school recruiter’ option means that it is easy for those who need to recruit governors or trustees for multiple schools including multi academy trusts, local authorities, dioceses and federations to do so.

“When you are dealing with lots of vacancies, all your schools are listed and it’s so easy to click and see the volunteers that are available in the local area. It’s not difficult to learn how to use the platform; the software is easy to use and it has really good features.”
David Linsell, Director of Education, The Kemnal Academies Trust

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.

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

Support for new governors and trustees

When you find and appoint volunteers through Inspiring Governance, NGA will provide them with free support and expert guidance for 12 months. This will help them feel confident and capable in their new role and give them the essential knowledge and skills to govern effectively. Each new appointment will receive:

  • a complimentary copy of an NGA induction guide – Welcome to Governance or Welcome to a Multi Academy Trust (dependent on school type);
  • access to NGA’s extensive online guidance centre containing a wealth of governance resources;
  • dedicated telephone and email support – staffed by professional advisers – to walk them through their first year;
  • NGA's weekly e-newsletter featuring the latest education news and policy updates;
  • a monthly ‘hot topics’ email designed especially for new governors and trustees;
  • access to 50+ high-quality e-learning modules on NGA Learning Link including in-depth induction modules and bitesize, 'just in time' modules;
  • the opportunity to book a place at one of NGA's regional conferences (held annually in each region);
  • if aged under 40, membership of the Young Governors’ Network.

This support and training is designed to complement local and face-to-face training.

“It is very helpful if you are struggling to recruit governors, and puts you in touch with new people – rather than relying on networks or recommendations. My advice is to invest the time in exploring and using Inspiring Governance and getting used to it. There is no cost or downside, and for us it has brought contact with volunteers that we wouldn’t have found on our own.”
Hannah Hales, Governance Support Adviser, Newcastle East mixed multi Academy Trust

Using Inspiring Governance

  1. 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, 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.  

“My first port of call was Inspiring Governance and I decided to sign up just to see what was in the pot. If Inspiring Governance is finding people for us, why would I go out and do it myself? I needed the job done and the governing board strengthened as soon as possible. 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.

Download The Right People Around the Table: a guide to recruiting school governors and trustees

Find out how other schools are already benefitting from Inspiring Governance:

Inspiring Governance is funded by the Department for Education. It is 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).

Connect With Us
  • NGA, 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JY
  • Phone: 0121 237 3780 | Contact Us
  • Charity Number: 1070331 | Company Number 3549029

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