Cyber Governor Programme 

Governors for Schools has a long and successful history of working with employers to engage their employees in school governor roles. For nearly 25 years we have partnered with employers from various sectors to share industry skills which support the education sector and improve school standards.  

Our Cyber Governor programme aims to mobilise industry skills from the field of tech and cyber security to safeguard schools and protect their wider communities. 

What is a Cyber Governor? 

The Cyber Governor role includes all the usual responsibilities of a school governor, with the added focus of providing strategic leadership to the school or trust on digital compliance as well as policies and procedures for their IT systems and data security. 

This is an incredibly important role and the skills that cyber governors bring to a governing board are invaluable to school communities.

Why are Cyber Governors needed? 

Schools rely heavily on IT and online services to function. In addition to this, they hold large amounts of sensitive personal data on pupils, parents and staff. It’s crucial that this data is kept safe and schools are obliged, through GDPR legislation, to ensure this data, and the devices they use are protected. Schools are further expected to adhere to cyber security standards set out by the Department for Education. 

The evolving nature of cyber-attacks also puts schools at increasing risk. In recent years, there has been a rise in cyber incidents targeting educational institutions. Furthermore, schools often lack the expertise among staff to ensure they are meeting all their obligations. This is why the knowledge that Cyber Governors bring to the board is vital. 

What does being a Cyber Governor through the Cyber Governor programme involve? 

  • Firstly, supporting a school’s Senior Leadership to improve their understanding of cyber security risks, and their obligations. This may involve speaking about GDPR.  
  • Secondly, making sure cyber security is embedded into the school’s long-term strategy. This is to ensure schools remain both safe and secure for pupils, staff, and other stakeholders alike. 
  • Thirdly, ensuring both the school leaders and the governing board are aware of cyber risks and are adequately prepared in the event of a cyber incident. Preparing for such events helps to make sure that damage is minimised and the school is able to deal with problems as they rise.    
  • Finally, sharing best practice with your employer network of Cyber governors. Sharing knowledge can be a great way to develop strategies focused around ensuring the school is kept safe from cyber attacks. 

Resources 

We work with a number of partners similarly committed to improving cybersecurity in schools, who offer free online training events specifically designed for school governors: 

Get involved

To find out how you can support your employees to become Cyber Governors, please contact Andy Nisbet Friel, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Governors for Schools [email protected].

Alternatively, if you're thinking about becoming a school governor, click the below link to find out more about the role.