Recruiting new Governors or Trustees

Author : Al Kingsley @AlKingsley_edu

We all know, just like recruiting teachers, it’s a real challenge to find new governors for a school. Pressures of work and life, in general, have made it increasingly difficult to recruit for a role, where the responsibilities and time commitments have increased.

In recent years there has been a focus towards skills-based recruitment, so I would always advocate you start with making sure you have undertaken a skills audit of all your existing governors and trustees so you have a clear sense of any gaps in experience you are looking to fill (it’s not just a good idea, but something as a governing body, you should do annually). This article covers the skills audit in detail.

So once you know what skills you need, then begins the rough part of finding the right person and spreading the message. Traditionally that would mean a post on the school website alongside letters home to parents to attract some interest. I’d advocate that’s still a good starting point, but you can go beyond that with :

  • Share a post on social media ( School’s facebook page or Twiter account)
  • Share a post on local community facebook pages to gain broader exposure.
  • Send letters to local companies, highlighting the benefits to their business in developing staff.
  • Speak to your local Authority governor services team and see if they can spread the word or have any available candidates.
  • Use an online governor recruitment service like Academy Ambassadors or Inspiring Governance.
  • Produce video content to improve visibility.The last one might seem like a step too far in terms of time or cost, but can actually be done for a few pounds investment using online tools like Promo online video maker which don’t require technical skills and have plenty of templates you can adapt. Here are a few I did for our trust and broader local authority.

Once you have received lots of interest and potential applicants ( hopefully), then you need to schedule interviews where you meet potential candidates and make sure they are going to be the right fit for your governing body  AND to make sure they are clear on what the role entails and are going to be able to make the commitment needed. Nobody wants to fill governor places and after a term have non-attendance issues to have address.

Here are a few questions that I always like to ask, but I am sure you can add to this with plenty of your own.

  • Tell us a bit about yourself?
  • Why do you want to be a governor? (follow up if appropriate – do you know the difference between a governor and Trustee)
  • What do you see the role of a governor to be?
  • Have you done any research?  What do you know about our school?
  • What are our school / Trust values?
  • What else do you know about our School/Trust? What are your thoughts on academies?
  • What skills do you think you possess that are directly transferable to our governing body?
  • What are your expectations on what the role involves? ( opportunity to explain as a follow-up and clarify)
  • Explain Typical demands on Governor time. Are you able to attend regular governing board meetings? What time restrictions do you have on a regular basis?
  • Do you have experience working in a team?
  • Do you have any other interests or involvement in the local community?
  • Do you have any questions for us about the role or our school?
  • Explain process next steps process for the recruitment process.
  • Ask for references ( this is now expected as part of a robust process)



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