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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Inspiring Governance - volunteering in education

Your recruitment career

As the summer holiday begins for pupils and parents across the country, school and college governing boards are taking stock of the challenges faced over the last 18 months and beginning to look ahead to the new academic year. How can recruitment and employment professionals get involved in helping schools navigate these choppy strategic seas – and what are the benefits of volunteering in education?

The pandemic has shown the incredible spirit of community that exists in Britain, perhaps best evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of people who have volunteered to help a huge variety of charities across all nations. REC members are involved in an industry that contributes £39 billion to the UK economy and as such, are recognised for their high-quality skills in all areas of recruitment and employability - exactly the kind of expertise that schools are now seeking to make contributions on their governing boards as they plan for the new academic year.

The remit of a school/college governor is a strategic one and a great opportunity to gain experience of operating at board level. It will test all your skills of judgement so that you make the best decisions in the interests of children. Anybody over 18 can be a governor and you don’t have to be a parent. In fact, 250,000 people are already governors, yet there remain national shortages and schools throughout England who would welcome the skills that you could bring, for example;

  • Ability to challenge, ask questions, and seek solutions
  • Strategic HR leadership, recruitment insight, planning and project management
  • An analytical approach, data analysis, and attention to detail
  • Being collaborative and working as a team to achieve a common goal

The role is a strategic role and would take no more than about 5-8 hours of your time each month that usually fits around a typical day-to-day role. The 3 core functions of a governing board are:

  1. Agreeing a clear vision, strategy and ethos for the school
  2. Holding school leaders to account for the educational performance of the school
  3. Overseeing the school’s finances and ensuring money is well spent.

The benefits are not only professional: becoming part of a governing board provides an opportunity to make schools better for everyone, to support your local community, and to play a part in making a positive impact on the employability of the next generation – essential now more than ever.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, volunteers as a Chair of Trustees at a primary academy trust in Oxfordshire. Lynn King, Head of Governance Programmes at Inspiring Governance, explains “As a member of REC your recruitment and employability expertise makes you an ideal school governor candidate. Becoming a governor provides great CPD and the opportunity to make a difference to schools at a strategic level”.

Inspiring Governance is a Department for Education funded programme delivered by the charity Education and Employers and connects skilled volunteers who are interested in serving as school governors and trustees with schools in England. Schools need governors from all walks of life; individuals who can bring a mix of professional skills and life experiences to the table. If you’d like to find out more, please visit