Governors for Schools Issues Call To Engage 5,000 Volunteers

Governors for Schools has this week launched a call to engage 5,000 volunteers to support the education system this year.

Governors for Schools is an independent charity which matches skilled business professionals to local school governor vacancies across the UK. The charity is starting 2018 with a drive to improve school and business management alike, by engaging more business professionals to volunteer as school governors.

Professionals from businesses of any size, big or small, can make a huge difference to a school through school governance. At the same time, they will develop their own leadership skills while assisting in planning school strategy, helping the school to improve educational outcomes, and ensuring children are better prepared for work.

Alastair Cowen, 25, is an Assistant Manager in Public Sector Audit at KPMG in Birmingham. He joined the board of governors at James Brindley School in 2015. The school has 11 sites and teaching centres around Birmingham and it provides education for children and young people whilst they are in hospital or are unable to attend mainstream school due to medical conditions or special educational needs.

Speaking of his experience as a governor, Alastair says:

“I liked the fact that the school fulfils an important role in the city’s strategy to meet the needs of young people, which is what initially drew me in. Also, back in 2015, the school was in Ofsted ‘special measures’, so I was keen to work with a team who were trying to make a difference and help to improve the school’s rating.”

Alastair set about helping to improve the school’s Ofsted rating, by compiling a risk register and looking at the school’s budgets. He also made himself available to meet with the Ofsted inspectors when they came to assess the school and helped to prove that the school was a viable organisation moving forward. The inspectors were impressed with his forward planning and ability to demonstrate the schools value for money, which contributed to the school coming out of special measures in 2017.

“It was a great sense of achievement for everyone on the school’s leadership team. We felt we had been along the journey together, as a school and as a governing body.”

John Bradshaw, Principal at James Brindley School, comments:

“Since joining James Brindley School, Alastair has become a dynamic and indispensable addition to the school’s governance team. Drawing from his background in finance and accounting, Alastair has been able to bring a fresh approach to the school’s budget forecasting and risk assessments. He is very proactive, great at spotting gaps that need to be addressed, and has been a driving force in ensuring that the leadership team link educational priorities to business considerations.”

To find out more about becoming a school governor or encouraging employees to volunteer, visit the Governors for Schools website -

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