Concerns Grow about Schools without a Diverse Board

Concerns have been raised about the lack of youth and diversity among school governance volunteers in a new report, which warns that vacancies are at the highest level recorded in six years. According to the School and trust governance in 2022 report, released by the National Governance Association (NGA) today, vacancies on boards are at the highest level since 2016.

 

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And for the first time since its survey started 12 years ago, more than half of the volunteers (51 per cent) are 60 years old or older.

 

This trend is particularly stark compared to data from 2010 when just 36 per cent of those surveyed were aged 60 or over.

 

The NGA has warned that this lack of diversity among school governors could have a detrimental effect on decision-making, with the potential to exclude different perspectives and life experiences.

 

To address this issue, the NGA calls for a greater focus on recruiting a more diverse range of school governors, including more young people, women and members of ethnic minority groups.

 

The report also highlights the need for better support for school governing boards, with nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents saying they would like more training and development opportunities.

 

This is particularly true for those new to the role, with nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of first-time governors saying they would benefit from additional training.

 

NGA chief executive Emma Knights commented on the findings: “It is vital that school governing boards are reflective of the communities they serve.

 

“However, our research shows that this is not always the case, with a lack of diversity among governors potentially leading to poorer decision-making.

 

“We need to do more to encourage a wider range of people to get involved in school governance and provide them with the support they need to be effective in their role.”

 

According to the report, most school governing boards are white, middle-aged men.

 

While this is not necessarily bad, it does mean a lack of diversity among those making decisions about schools.

 

This lack of diversity can have several negative consequences, such as excluding different perspectives and life experiences from decision-making.

 

It can also lead to a lack of understanding of the needs of certain groups of pupils, such as those from ethnic minority backgrounds or those with special educational needs.

 

The NGA calls for a greater focus on recruiting a more diverse range of school governors, including more young people, women and members of ethnic minority groups.

 

The report also highlights the need for better support for school governing boards, with nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents saying they would like more training and development opportunities.

 

This is particularly true for those new to the role, with nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of first-time governors saying they would benefit from additional training.

 

NGA chief executive Emma Knights commented on the findings: “It is vital that school governing boards are reflective of the communities they serve.

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“However, our research shows that this is not always the case, with a lack of diversity among governors potentially leading to poorer decision-making.

 

“We need to do more to encourage a wider range of people to get involved in school governance and provide them with the support they need to be effective in their role.”

 

What do you think of the findings of the NGA report? Are you concerned about the lack of diversity among school governors?

 

Let us know in the comments below.

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