Governors for Schools is delighted to announce the launch of our 125,000 challenge, which will run throughout the 2022-23 academic year. The premise of the challenge is to boost the number of governor appointments made through our corporate partnerships, collectively benefiting the futures of at least 125,000 children across England and Wales. In so doing, we aim to celebrate the positive impact of our work with corporate organisations and the valued contributions of their employees.

To reach our goal, we will need to appoint an estimated 265 volunteers via corporate partners, building on the 211 volunteers appointed from these organisations in 2021-22.

You can follow our progress on our dedicated challenge page.

 Why are corporate volunteers so vital for our mission?

The volunteers who become governors as a result of our partnerships bring a wonderfully diverse set of skills and knowledge to their roles. Across 2021-22, for example, 76% of corporate volunteers had a strong understanding of finance – one of schools’ most sought-after attributes.

Our corporate partnerships also help to diversify school and academy boards. Last year, 54% of volunteers appointed via corporate partners were under the age of 35, addressing a significant demographic imbalance. What’s more, 45% of these placed volunteers came from ethnic minority backgrounds – nearly seven times the national estimated figures regarding ethnic diversity in governance.

Our corporate partners also give employees time off to pursue volunteering roles, ensuring they’re able to embrace all aspects of the governor role. Key responsibilities include, for example, visiting the school during the day and getting involved with strategic tasks such as recruitment.

“Our corporate partnerships have always been a wonderful source of talented governance volunteers for the charity. We’re sure the 125,000 challenge will encourage even more volunteers step forward for these roles and we’re excited to celebrate the impact these volunteers will have within the schools, academies and trusts that they join.” Will Durham, Head of Impact and Corporate Partnerships

What to look out for

Over the course of the autumn term, we’ll run targeted recruitment campaigns with our 19 official partner organisations, helping encourage even more of their employees to consider school governance.

We will also be sharing stories from volunteers, schools, and our partners throughout the autumn and spring terms, highlighting the many social and personal benefits of the role.

How can you get involved?

If you’re interested in learning more about how your organisation can get involved with the challenge in the months ahead, please reach out to Julie Thiberg, Head of Charity Development, at [email protected] or William Durham, Head of Impact and Corporate Partnerships, at [email protected].