Person connecting remotely

Like many universities, the majority of Durham’s staff is now working from home. We have been forced to postpone or cancel our upcoming events for our School Governor Network. To enable our governors to keep in touch, and keep the network alive, we have created a Microsoft Teams space for our network. This has been advertised to our governors on an ‘opt-in’ basis, and so far we have had approximately one-third of our network join the group.

This ‘Team’ enables us to post regular updates, and share news or support such as Governors for Schools webinars, Ofqual updates and more. We have included a ‘social space’ for our governors to chat and share best practice during this time. We also have an area for the members of our network who have not yet become a governor, where we share possible opportunities for them to get involved if they wish to. We have also been lucky that Alice, our Partnerships Manager from Governors for Schools, and our local NLG representative have been able to join the Teams group to answer any questions and provide support.

It’s not a loud team, as many governors are seeing a reduction in their usual load during this time, but it is there for them to dip in and out of at their own leisure. It also means we aren’t clogging up email inboxes with additional communications about the network, as governors can choose to switch the Teams notifications on or off at any time. We are finding this an effective way of keeping in contact and plan to use the Teams channel more to host ‘drop-in’ video networking and support sessions for our governors.

Laura Whitelock, Access and Engagement Assistant Manager at Durham University