School governor initiative

Volunteer school governors play a crucial role in raising educational standards. The University’s multi award-winning School Governor Initiative contributes to the leadership and improvement of state schools by engaging our staff and alumni in creating the largest growth of school governors of any organisation in the UK.

The University’s School Governor Initiative is a pioneering programme to engage University staff and alumni in making a difference to the leadership across hundreds of state schools

By combining the efforts of staff and our extensive alumni we have supported state schools with more new Governors than any other UK employer. Schools where University staff are governors have also received higher than average inspection ratings, with many citing the quality of governance as being particularly notable.

Impact of the School Governor Initiative

  • Currently, over 1,200 staff and alumni give 12,000 days of support to schools each year, impacting on approximately 450,000 learners nationally and generating £6M of economic value.
  • The schools on which University staff are governors have received higher than average inspection ratings.
  • The programme has been recognised nationally and internationally as an exemplar 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.

Evidence of evaluation of the School Governor Initiative

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 in which 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.

To find out more about becoming a school governor, please see our web pages.