Page 1

The University of Manchester and SGOSS - Governors for Schools

Working in partnership


School governance is the

most important voluntary role in education. SGOSS – Governors for Schools is a national charity, funded by the Department for Education, encouraging professionals to volunteer as school governors. Our mission is to ensure every school in England has access to skilled, enthusiastic and committed school governor volunteers.


“School governors are the largest group of volunteers in UK education, yet many schools struggle to find governors with appropriate skills.� Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility, The University of Manchester


Universities have an enormously positive effect on the social and economic wellbeing of their local communities. SGOSS can work with your university to enhance this effect, by encouraging your staff to use their skills and experience to drive school improvement across your region. With governor vacancies across the country right now, finding volunteers to support the development of local schools is crucially important. Not only do local schools benefit hugely, the role is a free professional development opportunity for staff. For these reasons, school governance is a fantastic addition to any university community engagement or social responsibility programme.


A little bit about governance. School governors work with the school’s senior leadership team to oversee long-term development. There are around 300,000 governors volunteering in schools across England.


Support & Challenge

Providing Strategic Management

Making Executive Decisions

Ensure accountability. Asking the difficult questions and guaranteeing the school is responsible for its actions.

A champion of success.

Using your skills and experience to support the school in achieving its aims and recognising good performance.

Establish a strategic framework.

Monitor and evaluate progress.

Allocate and control the school budget.

Appoint senior staff.

Helping set the school’s aims and objectives.

Ensuring the school’s resources are allocated to maximise impact on the education of all pupils.

Analysing decisions, are they producing the desired results?

Including the responsibility of appointing a new Deputy Head or Head Teacher.


Two years ago, The University of Manchester teamed up with SGOSS in a bid to support local communities and schools.


“Having governors from the University is hugely beneficial, because we are always looking for a blend of experiences and talent. Getting University governors has really helped massively and I would recommend it to every school and every university.� Ian Fenn, Head Teacher, Burnage Media Arts College.

To find out more about The University of Manchester School Governor Initiative visit: http://youtu.be/iMA8LXLrrsE


1 2 3


First Steps : Establish a baseline of existing volunteers Give credit to staff already volunteering and offer them support.

Following Up : Officially launch a campaign Get the University’s Senior Leader on board. A few words from them will give the campaign a real sense of authority. Give it a permanent home on your staff intranet, providing staff with easy round-the-clock access to information and a named contact.

Final Touches : Ensure governor volunteering continues long-term Hold regular governor recruitment events. Consider the HR policy needed to enable staff to attend governor meetings. Promote the role through the other university networks such as your alumni.


The Impact of The University of Manchester’s School Governor Initiative


In two years, The University of Manchester has grown their governor network from 50 to 241 volunteers. They have calculated the economic value generated from their School Governor Initiative as £765,600 in the last year alone. At the 2013 Green Gown Awards, The University of Manchester’s School Governor Initiative won the National Social Responsibility and International Social Responsibility categories. The judges praised the University for having “dynamically recognised its role in the community, sending a signal to the sector about the powerful contribution a university can make.”


“I find my role as a school governor extremely rewarding. There is a real sense of common purpose, and I have to say that the strides the school is making in terms of pupil achievement year-on-year make our job doubly satisfying. I feel privileged to be able to make this contribution both to the school and the University, as well as to the community at large.� - Felicia Chan, University of Manchester employee

The school serves an area of deprivation close to The University of Manchester and the governing body are keen to encourage community links, including between the University and the local area. We sought SGOSS' help and we were delighted with the suggestion of Felicia as a community governor. Felicia has brought fresh and different insight to the school governing body, and has been a fine example through her dedication and encouraging manner. - Ian Gomersall, Chair of Governors, St Chrysostoms C.E. Primary School


Please contact Andy Matfield for more information about how your university can get involved. 020 7288 9538 andy.matfield@sgoss.org.uk

The impact made by governors leads to better schools, stronger communities and positive educational outcomes for children. Encourage your staff to access this outstanding development opportunity and build a community engagement programme that will improve the prospects of thousands of children.


SGOSS Unit 11, Shepperton House 83 - 93 Shepperton Road London, N1 3DF WWW.SGOSS.ORG.UK E: info@sgoss.org.uk T: 020 7354 9805

Supporting Organisations

facebook.com/schoolgovnet @schoolgovnet SGOSS Governors for Schools

The University of Manchester and SGOSS - Governors for Schools