THE need for members of the public to become school governors has never been stronger as schools face an increasingly challenging climate, says educational charity Governors for Schools.

Governors for Schools is sharing this ‘back to school’ message as they launch a campaign to encourage diversity on governing boards across Devon and Cornwall.

Recent media coverage of exam results and the challenges around the education sector is testament to the importance of having local people involved in the governance of primary and secondary schools across the South West.

Governors for Schools is an educational charity that connects people interested in becoming a school governor with schools, academies and colleges. While the role undoubtedly comes with challenges, Governors for Schools has found that 86% of volunteers enjoy their role as a governor.

The campaign, ‘Governor Stories’, demonstrates that there is no one type of governor. Governors come from a variety of backgrounds, have varied interests and different skill sets, but what does unite them is a desire to improve outcomes for children and their community through the donation of their time and skills.

Thomas Godwin, who is chair of governors at Callington Community College, said: ‘Without Governors for Schools making the process so easy and providing such good matchmaking, I would not have found the vacancy at Callington and been so well supported with advice and ongoing training.’

Thomas, who lives in Tavistock, said: ‘I never considered myself as someone who could offer something at a governor board level, I saw myself as perhaps too young and from a working background that didn’t chime with my misguided perception of the type of person who is a school governor. How wrong I turned out to be on all of that and it is the best thing I have done both professionally and personally as it is so hugely rewarding.’

Louise Cooper, chief executive of Governors for Schools, said: ‘We are seeing high demand for governors in schools all over the South West. By volunteering as a governor, people use their specific skill set, such as HR or finance, to benefit schools, improving education standards and outcomes for children.

‘It’s also clear that volunteers benefit from professional development through joining a board, which can feed back into their own work or personal lives.m Becoming a governor is a win-win for both schools and individuals.’

Governors for Schools in the last year has placed 135 members of the public into schools across Devon and Cornwall but only 26 in Plymouth and the surrounding area, including Tavistock (11 under 44 years of age) and only 29 in Cornwall.

The figures above contrast with the 706 schools which have registered 1,758 vacancies across the region with Governors for Schools.

Governors for Schools is hoping that this campaign will do more to raise awareness of the benefits of being a governor and how easy it makes it to find a school vacancy. The charity is urging members of the public from all walks of life and all professions in Devon and Cornwall to consider becoming a school governor. For more information, visit or call 020 73549805.