For those of you interested in delving deeper, here's a selection of research into the role of a school governor.
A survey was sent out to school governor volunteers placed by SGOSS between October 2009 and March 2010. The survey asked volunteers about their general experiences of being a governor, the appointment process and the support they received in undertaking the role.
SGOSS enjoys a strong working relationship with the Open University- encouraging some 300 students, staff and alumni to apply. This research project, on behalf and funded by the OU, analyses the experiences of these volunteers.
SGOSS was launched in response to the findings of research commissioned by the educational trust Industry in Education in 1996. As the SGOSS celebrates its 10th birthday, Dr. Anne Punter and Professor John Adams reviewed the principals of this research by interviewing governors, heads and chairs on the impact of SGOSS volunteers.
In 2007 SGOSS commissioned the University of Hertfordshire to carry out independent research among the governors it had recruited with the aim of quantifying the added value these volunteers felt they had given and received.
Among the key findings were that a significant number of the volunteers had been elected to highly responsible positions such chair or vice-chair of the whole governing body or chair of a supporting committee. A number of governors were taking part in the Head Teacher’s Performance Management Review, were helping appoint new staff, or were leading projects.
The research also evidenced that the volunteers normally complete their minimum 4 four year first term of office, and deploy key skills such as effective communications and team working that are rated as valuable by their head teachers. In return volunteers develop financial, listening, recruitment and team management skills. Crucially there was an indication that Ofsted gradings which included assessments of governing bodies, have shown improvements since the appointment of SGOSS appointed governors into their schools.
The benefits of corporate volunteering programmes in education
This research explores the business case for City-type firms maintaining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. It focuses on the competencies that can be developed through participation in education-related employee volunteering programmes, as well as the benefits that this approach can offer over more traditional forms of staff development. It also examines the benefits offered to employers, and highlights key aspects of developing a successful employee volunteering programme via case studies of firms that have facilitated staff development in this way. The report highlights the particular benefits which can be gained from volunteering as a school governor.