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Being a school governor

New governors

If you have recently become a school governor you should let us know by contacting Alison Gregory.

Your details will be added to the school governor database which keeps a record of all known governors within the University. Your email address will also be added to the UMSGI listerv which ensures you receive all relevant information and updates directed at school governors.

UMSGI network

We have an active internal network for staff who already volunteer as governors. The network meets three times a year and the lunchtime forums help you to find out more about pertinent issues, learn from other governors and share best practice in order to maximise the impact you have on schools. We also have regular guest speakers to help boost your knowledge and aid your professional development. All governors are welcome and meetings will be advertised at least four weeks in advance.

In addition, there is the UMSGI conference which takes place each year in the spring term. Our next conference in 2021 will be the 9th annual UMSGI conference. All staff governors, their Chairs or Vice Chairs and Alumni governors are welcome to attend.

Next meeting

The next UMSGI network meeting will take place virtually in June 2021.

Please contact Alison Gregory for more information.

Annual conference 2021

This year our conference will be delivered virtually. We have two short events planned rather than one whole day. The first event will be on 

Monday 26 April (9.00-12.00)

The theme is the Environment, Climate Action and Sustainability: How governors can play their part in supporting schools to fight the climate crisis. The second event will be on

Wednesday 28 April (9.00-12.00)

The theme will be Wellbeing post-pandemic: Ensuring strategies for wellbeing are being carried out in educational settings.

There will be speakers, break out rooms and a chance to network. Everyone is welcome and we hope to be joined by many more of our alumni this year.

Additional leave

Being a governor will sometimes require you to be away from the University for short periods of time to attend the school for meetings, committees, interviews and Ofsted.

To make the process of taking time off for this purpose more straightforward there is a HR Policy to cover time off for public duties. Please read the policy and we also advise that you speak to your line manager (where applicable) when you become a governor so that they are aware of potential unplanned time off. The University allows up to 5 days leave per year for governor meetings.

Personal & professional development

It goes without saying that as a governor you are an essential asset in the wider leadership of the school and offering your skills and knowledge to your school is a fantastic and rewarding way to contribute to the school's future success. Schools could not perform effectively without the skills and support of their board members and governing bodies are critical to the Ofsted rating of all schools. 

As a governor you will also develop a whole range of skills. These may be soft skills such as improved communication, listening, patience, diplomacy but equally you could hone some specific new skills such as finance and data skills, chairing of meetings, and health and safety.

Governor learning log

Whatever skills you use or develop as a governor we want you to be able to evidence that as part of your personal and professional development. The governor learning log is a tool that you can complete as you go along your governor journey, it is best used to record details of any meetings, conferences or issues you have dealt with and reflect on the skills you displayed at the time. We encourage all our governors to use this document as part of the P&DR process with your line manager and use these skills in any future job applications.

Please download a copy and keep a file of all your learning.

Governor skills & experience survey

Every two years we ask governors to take a short skills and experience survey so we can look at how govenors feel they are developing and how we can support you more.

This year we are asking staff to complete the 10 year anniversary survey to find out what the impact of UMSGI has been on the many schools we volunteer in. From the skills we contribute to the added value of a governor from within the HE sector, we want to discover more about how schools are benefiting from our staff and alumni.