Visible governance: actions you can take
Let’s act together to shine a light on the important role and amazing contribution of school governors, trustees and clerks.
To support the Visible Governance campaign, here are some suggestions of practical things you can do in your personal and professional sphere, as well as in your school/trust and the education system to help people understand the role and the difference it can make.
Collectively, our small actions will further improve the lives of children and their communities.
These ideas are for use by governors and trustees, governing boards, schools, academy trusts, local authorities, local associations, education sector organisations and anyone else who wants to promote the role of volunteers and boards.
Please help us to make governance more visible by taking small actions to champion it.
actions you can take
Share our Visible Governance film
Don't forget to share our new film! It’s for anyone who wants to spread the word about the importance and value of school and trust governance – whether you’re a governor or trustee wanting to shout about what you do or are looking to recruit new volunteers to your board.
Further actions you can take
Got an idea to add to this list? Want to share some feedback? We’d love to hear from you – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share your governance story and our social media graphic with your family, friends, colleagues and networks using #VisibleGovernance – you could comment on why you choose to be a governor/trustee, how proud you are to do the role, your favourite part of the role or give encouragement to others to volunteer.
- Use the Visible Governance in Schools branding (download resources) wherever you like to promote your support for and participation in the campaign, and to highlight school and trust governance in action, from board meetings (as a virtual background) to training sessions and materials.
- Encourage a friend, colleague or family member who you think has the qualities of a great school governor/trustee to sign up to a governance recruitment service.
- Keep us and your social media followers updated about the rewards and challenges of the role using #VisibleGovernance.
- Nominate a governor or trustee who has made a significant impact through their governance role for a national honour – NGA can provide support for this.
- Are there local awards for education, perhaps run by your local authority or multi academy trust? Encourage recognition for governance through an award for an outstanding governing board (after all, it’s a team effort).
- Be an advocate of school governance wherever you go. Are you involved in other community projects? Are you a coach or mentor? Are you part of local networks or clubs? Tell others about school governance and connect any opportunities.
- Include school governance within your professional identity by adding the role to your CV or LinkedIn profile so that your network can see that the role is for people like them.
- Speak to your manager about your school governance role and the benefits it brings to you and your employer as well as the school.
- Many organisations profile their staff online – add your governance role to your biography to normalise the role.
- Is there an opportunity to talk about your role to colleagues? For example in an internal newsletter or intranet, in a team meeting or even over a virtual tea or coffee?
- Connect with other colleagues who govern and aspiring governors and trustees, to share practice and to make the role visible within your workplace. You could also formalize this by creating an employer staff governance network.
- If you are a manager or leader, consider encouraging staff in your team/organisation to govern to contribute to their professional development and to help boards secure volunteers with the skills they need.
- If you present or represent your organisation in your role, include being a governor/trustee in your personal introduction to make the role part of everyday conversation.
- Update the information about the governing board on the school/trust website – does it capture in an engaging way who the governors/trustees do and the board’s role? Does it celebrate the impact your board has in school? Are there photos and up to date biographies of the board?
- Publish a statement of your board’s priorities and impact to demonstrate all the good you do.
- Arrange to post on the school’s social media channels to share what the board has been doing and when meetings are taking place with their general purpose.
- Take a photo with our Visible Governance banner – while meeting remotely, why not download and use our virtual background and share a snap from your next board meeting.
- Communicate directly with parents, pupils and staff – there’s plenty of ways to engage your stakeholders and hear directly from them as well as making them aware of your role.
- Write a handwritten or email note of thanks to headteachers and staff to recognise their hard work and achievements – this will make you visible to school staff and help them to understand your role.
- When the school conducts surveys or engagements with staff, parent and pupils ask for questions about the board’s role to be included and act on what you learn about what stakeholders know and understand about your role.
- You’ll want to promote all the good things going on at your school and shout about successes in the local media – encourage that the hard work and positive decisions of school governors/trustees are represented where appropriate.
- Write to your local MP or councillors to tell them about what’s going on in your school/trust and the board’s role – whether that’s a recent success or a challenge you’re facing, you are making a significant contribution to local schools and your voice deserves to be heard.
- Have a say in consultations, take part in surveys or comment on news articles. NGA represents your voice to policymakers too, but the greater the volume and range of comments the better.
- Taking part? Share your activity and photos with us using #VisibleGovernance on social media or by email to email@example.com
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