Since its foundation in 1999, Governors for Schools has worked with employers to support their people in becoming school governors. While the charity’s services have diversified over the past 25 years, partnerships with businesses remain at the core of our work. For this reason, we were delighted to see the value of volunteering being proven in a recent report by Pro Bono Economics (PBE) (commissioned by national volunteering charity Royal Voluntary Service) entitled, A pro bono bonus: The impact of volunteering on wages and productivity.  

One of the key recommendations from this report was to encourage employers to provide employee volunteering opportunities, the benefits of which are numerous. The report highlighted that getting involved in volunteering opportunities (such as becoming a school governor) can increase the productivity, confidence and even earnings of employers. Specifically, it estimates productivity gains worth at least £4.6 billion each year, or £4,551 per volunteer, are generated through volunteering by those in professional and managerial occupations. Our Five-Year Impact Report further highlights the value added by school governance volunteers; on average, school governors provide £2,022 worth of support in terms of time and expertise to schools each year. Over a four-year term of office, this amounts to over £8,000 per volunteer. 

As a charity, it is one of our key aspirations for the sector that all employers recognise the value of their employees volunteering in school governance roles. In our financial year that ended in March 2024, we are delighted to celebrate the impact that we’ve made working with employers up and down the country. Through increasing the breadth of our partnerships, we have generated over 630 applications from our corporate partners between April 2023 and March 2024. This is an increase of over 40% on 2022-23.  

While governance appointments can take a few months to be confirmed, we are delighted to have appointed 331 volunteers into school governance roles. This is an increase on 2022-23 of over 24%, indicative of the growing momentum within the sector to take up school governance roles. With a further 360 corporate partner employees in the process of becoming a school governor currently, 2024-25 should see an even bigger increase of our collective impact.  

Katie Higginson, 5 Million Futures volunteering lead at Deloitte, said:

School governors can have a transformative impact on the success of a school and the student experience. We’re happy that we, together with over 180 of our people, have a role in bringing the professional and personal expertise needed to support schools. We are also particularly proud of how we’re helping to make school governor boards more diverse and inclusive, with 93% of our volunteer school governors being under the age of 44 years and 53% of them coming from an ethnic minority background.

All our volunteers get fantastic support from Governors for Schools, including training and resources, which help them feel confident in their school governor roles. The feedback we get from volunteers shows us how the opportunity is supporting their professional development, challenging themselves and allowing them to give back to their local communities.

Find out more…

If you’d like to find out more about working with us, please contact Emma Harris, Head of Partnerships Development, [email protected]