The University of Manchester’s School Governor initiative has been a huge success, winning the International Green Gown Award for Social Responsibility in 2013. For Governor Thoughtnightly’s first guest blog Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach and Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at the University tells us a bit more about the programme and why other universities should think about getting involved.
Like many higher education institutions, The University of Manchester has long-standing relationships with schools and colleges across the country through our student recruitment and outreach work. As well as activities promoting study at Manchester, we undertake extensive work with young people in the most disadvantaged areas of Greater Manchester to raise general awareness of higher education. This is part of our strategic commitment to social responsibility, where we set out to make a positive contribution to society. Through our work with these schools we learned that many of them struggle to recruit appropriately skilled people to their Boards of Governors.
In the last ‘Thoughtnightly’ blog, Adam Balzano referred to the importance of raising awareness of the role of school governor and encouraged organisations to harness the skills of their staff to fulfil these vital roles in schools and colleges. We are the UK’s biggest university, with over 11,000 staff undertaking a vast range of roles: teaching and research, estates management and HR, financial services and project management, to name but a few. We also have contact with around 270,000 former students – our alumni.