Governors for Schools is thrilled to announce a significant increase in the number of volunteers applying to take on a school governance role. As of September 2022, we’ve seen an incredible 1,690 new recruits – a 24% increase on last year’s figures for the corresponding period. These new volunteers will bring skills, passion, and diversity to the school governance talent pool across England and Wales. The charity also received requests for support with 2,898 board vacancies, a 6% increase on last year’s six-month figures.

As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we closely track the diversity of our intake. So far this year, around 61% of new recruits have been under the age of 45 and 30% have been from ethnic minority backgrounds.

This year is also the first time we’ve tracked LGBTQ+ data. Around 8% of new recruits identified as gay or bisexual in the first six months of 2022/3, while 80% identified as straight.

These results show that the cohort of volunteers recruited through Governors for Schools is significantly more diverse than the known national governance pool as a whole – demonstrating that our diversity and inclusion efforts are paying off.

Hannah Stolton, CEO of Governors for Schools, says: “We’re delighted to have attracted so many new recruits to governance roles so far this year, many of whom are helping diversify schools boards across England and Wales. Of course, we know that diversity and inclusion metrics require improvement across the country, and we’re committed to expanding the networks with whom we engage to build on our progress so far.”

Governors for Schools has also witnessed an outstandingly strong six months in South West England, rising from 81 recruits in the first half of 2021/22 to 160 in 2022/23 – an increase of almost 100%. Furthermore, 55% of new recruits in the region were under the age of 45, 14% were from ethnic minority backgrounds, and 8% identified as gay or bisexual. Given only 2% of known governance volunteers in the South West are from an ethnic minority, we believe these results represent a step in the right direction.

Enya Battersby joined Governors for Schools as Partnerships Coordinator for the South West in March 2022 and has helped drive such fantastic results. She explains: “Recruiting volunteers for the South West of England has been a great experience so far, and the calibre of skilled applicants has been incredible to witness.

“From larger cities to small villages, we’re hearing from skilled and enthusiastic volunteers from a range of different backgrounds. This means an increasing number of boards in the South West can benefit from diverse and engaged members advocating for change and supporting school development. We look forward to introducing even more volunteers to governance roles in coming months.”

Interested in governance? We’d love to hear from you

If you’re interested in joining our diverse cohort of committed volunteers, why not apply for a governor role today? Once you’ve registered your interest, one of our friendly partnership team will be in touch to guide you through the process.