Leading law firm Allen and Overy has united with school governor recruitment charity Governors for Schools to develop free online governance training aimed at professional recruits. 

The new eLearning module, Driving School Improvement, sets out the critical role that effective school governance plays in bringing about excellent schools, and helps to ensure that the skills volunteer recruits bring from their professional lives can quickly be deployed to boost the life chances of children and young people.

Focusing on key principles of the school improvement cycle, the eLearning clearly explains what governors need to be doing at each phase to ensure this important process brings about real and sustained improvements in educational outcomes and school performance.

The new module joins Governors for Schools’ existing eLearning suite, which includes a general induction (developed with Lloyds Banking Group and The Key Support Services) as well as introductory modules on school performance data (developed with Arbor Education) and finance. All build on the Department for Education’s Competency Framework for Governance, released last year, which sets out the core knowledge and skills required for effective governance.

Easily accessible from the Governors for Schools website, the module has been designed to offer practical support to recently appointed, professional academy trustees and local governors, as well as governors of maintained schools. Taking less than an hour to complete and accessible on any screen or device, it is intended to meet the needs of time poor professionals who would otherwise find attending face-to-face training difficult.

Speaking about the new module, Governors for Schools CEO Louise Cooper said:

“Driving School Improvement is essential viewing for any new governor. We are delighted to have had support and insight from Allen and Overy in creating this module. This completes our suite of 4 induction modules which helps new governors become effective as quickly as possible.”

Allen and Overy, which promotes school governance to its employees as community-focused pro bono activity, says that while helping to improve educational outcomes is the main aim, the skills acquired through school governance provide valuable development for staff at all levels.

The free School Governor Induction module will be available from 17th April 2018.