Recruiting a school governor is a notoriously challenging task. Here, Duncan Grant -Partnerships and Development Director of education charity, Future First- explains how schools can fill vacancies whilst improving board diversity through an alumni network…
School governor vacancies have reached their highest level since 2016, with this year’s National Governance Association’s survey reporting vacant posts across 67% of boards. Out of those, a further 38% have reported having two or even more openings, with the overall total of unfilled positions currently exceeding 20,000. 
One of the reasons for this absence of applicants is that there is a common misunderstanding of what the governor role is, what it entails, and more importantly, who can apply for it. This alone has had a huge impact on both the diversity of applicants, and the number of people applying.
The most common misconception of the governor role is that a strong knowledge or background in education is a prerequisite for the position. In actual fact, schools are looking for a broad range of skills and backgrounds from their governors, yet many believe being a parent or having a knowledge of the education system is a strong requirement.
As well as the current vacancy crisis, there is also a pressing need to improve diversity in governance roles. In a recent GovernerHub survey  90% of the 4,000 governor respondents were white, and in the aforementioned NGA governance report, it was also revealed that just 6% of governors and trustees were under 40 years old. More than half (51%) were over 60 years and just 1% were under 30.
As a result, schools are now looking for a way to fill the governor vacancies, appeal to new, younger candidates, with a broad range of skills, whilst improving diversity. The question is how do they do this?
Well, one simple way is by harnessing the power of an alumni network.
With thanks to EdExec for permission to reproduce – read the full article here.