The leading education charity Future First is calling on former state school students to sign up as governors at their old school amid increasing concern at the national shortage of adults volunteering to take up the posts.
Up to a quarter of school governor positions are vacant in some rural and deprived areas of England and one in 10 of the 300,000 governor posts nationally is unfilled.
Future First, which sets up alumni networks in more than 375 state schools and colleges across Britain, is now partnering with the charity SGOSS, which recruits volunteers to serve on school governing bodies across England, to encourage more ex-state school students to support their old school by volunteering to join the governing body. More than 90,000 people have registered with Future First to stay connected with their former school and some are already volunteering as governors.
Figures revealing the shortage of governors come at a time when pressure on governors to hold schools to account for their performance is growing.
Alex Shapland-Howes, Managing Director of Future First, said former students had a valuable role to play in shaping a school’s future as they were relatable role models for students.
“They know the school, they know the area and what the lives of the current students are like,” said Mr Shapland-Howes. “They can play an incredibly important role in setting the direction of a school, supporting and challenging the head teacher, and ensuring money is well spent. For those former students looking for a way to make a difference in their local community, we would urge them to sign up and stand as governors.”
Anyone over 18 and living in the UK can be a governor. Governors do not manage the schools day to day business but oversee its long term future by supporting the teaching staff and championing success, helping to set the schools aims and objectives and monitoring progress, allocating the budget and appointing senior staff like the Headteacher.