Does Inspiring Governance provide training or support for governors?
Yes. The National Governance Association (NGA) is providing free support and expert guidance for governors/trustees appointed through the Inspiring Governance service, via a dedicated helpline as well as through induction materials and online guidance.
- dedicated telephone and email support through their first year
- NGA’s Welcome to Governance induction guide for governors in both multi-academy trusts and maintained schools
- access to NGA’s online guidance centre containing a wealth of resources
- free training through NGA’s e-learning induction programme (8 themed modules)
- membership of the Young Governors’ Network for volunteers under the age of 40
Do volunteers have Enhanced DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks?
We do not organise Enhanced DBS checks, as we expect that schools will do this as part of their usual induction process for new governors.
Do you vet what volunteers say in their profile?
We take it on trust that volunteers have been honest about their skills and experience. There are also legal terms and conditions that they must agree to before registration. Governing boards will want to go through their usual interview process to ensure that volunteers are suitable for the role.
How do I search for volunteers?
It’s easy to search for volunteers via Inspiring Governance:
1. Once you have signed up, log in as a recruiting governor, using your username and password. Click the ‘Find Volunteers’ tab.
2. Search for governors who have indicated specific skills and/or sectors, using either the tick boxes or drop down menus.
3. Read their profiles and select the volunteer/s you would like to invite for an exploratory phone call about becoming a governor/trustee.
4. Send them an invitation and wait for them to respond.
Who am I seeing when I search for volunteers?
The volunteers you can see have indicated that they are interested in being a governor/trustee in the area your school is located, and that they meet the criteria (skills, industry) you have selected. You can filter volunteers by:
- Sector they work in
- The professional skills you are looking for
If you click ‘View Profile’ for a volunteer, you can see their full profile, including a brief job description, their preferred postcode and how far they are willing to travel. To see the full list of volunteers available, leave all the search fields blank and click ‘Search’.
How many invitations should I send?
Not every volunteer will be right for your school context or your governor role. Therefore we recommend sending invitations to all the potential governors who match your criteria. If you receive multiple replies, you can use an interview process to decide who is the best fit for your governing board. If on your first attempt you don’t find the governor you need, you can easily go back into the system and send additional invitations.
What if I can’t find a volunteer that fits my criteria?
Try widening your search. Your search will bring up all the volunteers who say they have at least one of the skills you have ticked, so the more skills you tick, the more volunteers you’ll have to choose from. If you do not tick any skills or industries, all the volunteers in your area will be shown. If you’re really struggling, once you have run your search fill out the ‘Can’t Find Suitable Volunteers’ form which will appear at the bottom of the search page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look to help.
What should I include in the message?
Our system will automatically include in your message the name of your school, the phase (e.g. primary), and the skills you have said you’re looking for. In your message it is helpful to state:
- The school name and where you are located
- Who you are
- A bit about the context of your school
- A bit about what’s expected of the role
Invite them to have a telephone conversation to find out more and to see if it will be a good fit for both of you. As much as you can, personalise your message. Let them know what you liked about their profile that prompted you to invite them. Volunteers may not be familiar with how schools work. Therefore, watch out for jargon, abbreviations and school language that might not be understood. Check out these sample emails for inspiration.
What happens to my invitations?
The system will send your message(s). Volunteers reply though the system indicating whether they are interested in finding out more about your vacancy. Their response will be emailed automatically to you via the system. If they are interested, we suggest you have a telephone call to find out more about them and tell them about the role. If it appears to be a good fit, you can follow your normal interview process for governors. To view or check that your messages were sent successfully, after you log in, click the My Messages tab and go to ‘Sent’ messages. Add email@example.com to your email contacts so that replies arrive in your inbox, rather than spam or junk mail.
I haven’t heard back from volunteers. What can I do?
We send text messages once a week to those volunteers who have not responded to an invitation. However, it may be that some volunteers simply do not respond. Remember that new volunteers sign up all the time. If you don’t have success the first time around, keep checking back to see who else has joined. If you really get stuck please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help. You can sort by the newest volunteers first. This is a good way of getting those volunteers who have most recently registered and are keen.