Inclusion and diversity is at the heart of what we do

At Governors for Schools we’re committed to promoting and prioritising diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion through our work and culture. We encourage school governing boards to recognise the benefits of diversity and appoint governors from a variety of backgrounds.

Last year, 31% of the volunteers we placed were from an ethnic minority group, 53% were female, and 68% were under 45. However, we understand that more needs to be done to increase representation on governing boards. We’re working to grow the networks we engage with to further this aim.

Getting people from diverse backgrounds onto boards is an important step, but we also want to ensure boards retain volunteers. To support this, we create resources to help boards throughout the process of recruitment. This also helps boards to implement policies that ensure all governors feel included.

What it means for us

Diversity

Diversity means including people of different ethnicities, genders, social backgrounds and abilities on governing boards. Having diversity of lived experience creates diversity of thought, allowing governors to engage in meaningful conversation about the needs of all pupils and staff. Governing boards should reflect and represent their local communities, so everyone gets their voice heard.

Equality and Equity

At Governors for Schools, equality and equity are key guiding principles. While equality refers to offering people the same opportunities, equity acknowledges people with different lived experiences need different things to access those opportunities. We aim to equip volunteers with this understanding, so they can make an impact on the schools they serve.

Inclusion

Our Inclusive Governance campaign provides governors with supportive resources on the LGBT+ community, young governors, mental health and more. Through encouraging meaningful conversation about inclusivity on governing boards, we aim to make schools and trusts a more welcoming place for all.

Actions, not words.

We know that the charity sector as a whole is not as diverse as it needs to be. As a result, we regularly review our internal processes to change this. Since our formation, our recruitment processes have been restructured to minimise bias and be more inclusive. We also continue to review our internal processes to ensure an inclusive company culture. Here are a few of the steps we’ve taken:

  • Auditing our recruitment processes: We involve all employees in reviewing our recruitment practices to ensure we reach a diverse pool of applicants. Shortlisting for roles is anonymised to avoid unconscious bias. Our two-stage interview process also includes staff at all levels across the organisation to ensure a wide range of voices are heard.
  • Flexible working: We’ve removed the need for qualifications that are not vital to our roles. Furthermore, we’re also flexible with the location of the role for the majority of positions, as long as you’re in the region that we need to recruit in.
  • Staff Training: We run unconscious bias training for all members of staff, and additional DEI training for senior team members. In addition to this, we give all staff the option to take an NVQ in Equality and Diversity. We also encourage staff to share their pronouns when communicating internally and externally.

We’re a proud equal opportunities employer

Throughout our hiring process and internal operations, we don’t discriminate based on the grounds of age, sex, race, disability, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, and/or religious background.

Of course, there is still work to be done; as an organisation, we have reviewed what we need to do to benefit from the experiences and perspectives a more ethnically diverse workforce will bring. This is an ongoing process that we will continue to evolve and scrutinise.

It is our continued goal to make Governors for Schools an accessible work place, where people with different lived experiences can collaborate and excel. We believe that having diversity of thought and experience is the key to increasing our impact as a charity.

If you’re keen to join the team and make a difference, check our job vacancies page here.

 

Inclusive Governance Campaign

As part of our goal to bring more inclusion to the governance landscape, we've created our 'Inclusive Governance' campaign to provide school governors and academy trustees with the resources they need to ensure their schools/trusts are focused on inclusion.