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Why school governing boards urgently need volunteers with finance expertise at this time…and how you could help!

Written by: Dominic Judge, Director of Governance Programmes at Education and Employers
Published on: 21 Jun 2022


Thank you to all those accountants who currently govern in a school or academy. If you don’t and you’ve ever thought about using your financial skills and experience to give something back to the next generation, there is no better way to do it than becoming a school governor or academy trustee. With such significant change in the economy and school structures, it is an exciting time to sign up and make a difference – through the DfE funded Inspiring Governance service.

Schools urgently need governors who have a range of financial skills to help offer strategic challenge to their finances, so that every penny is well spent on the education of their pupils.

The governor role is a strategic one (you will not be doing day to day accounts as schools usually have a School Business Manager to do this). However, you could offer invaluable strategic support to help ensure schools:

  • Spend wisely by reviewing, approving, and monitoring annual budget plans and managing/ responding to deviation from this throughout the academic year
  • Consider major spend decisions analysing the costs and benefits of spending on items over a threshold
  • Manage risk and compliance – supporting the school by checking financial processes, policies and controls are working
  • Get maximum VFM by offering strategic advice around cost-cutting in an inflationary world

You could take on a governing board link role for finance or in time you could even become Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. Schools particularly need finance professionals at this time to help them make considered decisions about joining an academy trust. These are significant strategic decisions that need to be influenced by financial insight and due diligence – schools certainly need you at this time!

The governor role is a strategic board role, is very manageable, and you don’t have to be a parent. All you need is to be over 18 and willing to commit approximately 5-8 hours a month to the role, usually outside of office hours.

In addition, you get enormous personal and professional benefits from it too! Our Value of Volunteering report that we launched with the CIPD in 2021 showed that, alongside benefits for the school, there are great CPD and skill development benefits for volunteers, motivation and productivity benefits for your employer and further health and well-being benefits from being part of a diverse group of board members, drawn from society, making decisions for the next generation.

Make a real difference and put your professional skills and lived experiences to use for future generations by becoming a school governor. Find out more and sign up at Inspiring Governance.