School Governor Initiative

One of the biggest challenges currently facing schools in the UK is a shortage of suitably skilled volunteers on governing boards, with volunteer school governors playing a crucial role in raising educational standards.


  • More than 1,200 staff and alumni give 2,736 days of support to schools each year.
  • Schools have received higher than average inspection ratings.
  • Recognised nationally and internationally as an exemplar of public service and social impact.

Our staff and alumni are making a difference to the leadership and direction of hundreds of state schools across the region, and other parts of the UK, through our School Governor Initiative.

By combining the efforts of staff and our extensive alumni we have supported state schools with more new governors than any other UK employer. 

Our programme has been recognised nationally and internationally as an excellent example of public service and social impact. It has won a national and international Green Gown Award, a Times Higher Education Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award, a Business in the Community Big Tick Award, a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and a Spirit of Manchester Award.

We support our staff and alumni in finding a placement through our partnerships with Governors for Schools and Inspiring Governance. Volunteers can also access the School Governor Initiative network, which provides support through meetings and conferences as well as the opportunity to share good practice and learn from peers and guest speakers.

Evaluating our impact

It is important that as we grow we continue to find out what impact our governors are having on the schools in which they govern and what impact the role is having on our staff. One of the ways we do this is via our biennial Skills and Experience Survey. The 2019 report is our third publication.

Earlier, in 2020, the Russell Group published their Pathways for Potential report. This features an article about the School Governor Initiative on page 24 of the full report and a case study on page 18 of the case studies document.


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