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Free Governor Support and Mentoring – an Annual report

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Hello and welcome to our new look website! It has been 2 years since Independent Governor Support or IGovS was conceived and launched and it seemed appropriate to try to make our website look a lot slicker, so that our visitors can quickly get the support they need or find the resource they are looking for. We hope you find this to be the case.

Part of that website development is that we will publish regular governance blogs which we will endeavour to make informative and will be stored as a source of future reference for anyone who wishes to read them.

Firstly, a little bit about the organisation for those who may be visiting us for the first time. IGovS is a registered Charitable organisation which has a small board of Trustees who run things. There are also 30 Members currently, who are the people who provide the support. All of those currently involved in IGovS were National Leaders of Governance (NLGs) at the end of the original DfE funded programme in Jul 2021 who wished to continue providing support, mentoring and coaching to all those involved in governance.

The idea was simple. Set up a website which had a “Request Support” option that sent an email to the Trustees. From here we pass the request on to the Members and all of those who have the capacity to meet the request register an interest. The contact details of these volunteers are then passed back to the person who requested the support. They are free to pick whichever one of those volunteers they think best suits the needs of their school, academy or board by using the information provided on our website. The matched pair are then free to get together as they see fit, although the vast majority of our work is carried out remotely which enables us to have the greatest reach possible. We are proud to cover all areas of England and have completed successful support packages in all of the DfE Director regions.

This proved very successful and as word spread (mostly by Twitter) we soon found that in our first year of operations (classed as Sep 21 to Jun 22), our Members provided support to 129 school boards in a variety of ways. But we didn’t really track how that support was distributed, which we soon came to appreciate would prove extremely valuable to how we operated.

A further year on (Sep 22 to Jun 23) and we still mainly use Twitter for letting people know about us, but we now have LinkedIn and Instagram accounts and a Facebook page (contact details on the website). We also now track the types of support we provide (support to Chairs, Boards, Governance Professionals etc) and how many hours each of our Members provides whilst doing so. It is extremely pleasing to report that our 30 Members between them have supported 540 schools and provided over 1750 hours of mentoring and coaching back into the School Governance system for free.

This fourfold increase in support provided shows that the need for IGovS is very real. In a time when we have seen a new NLG programme launch in Sep 21 but already discontinued as of Oct 23 and school budgets stretched beyond their limits, being able to “give back” for free is something all of us at IGovS are glad to do. It is also important to acknowledge that others involved in school governance have also recognised this, so we have been delighted to work closely with our friends and partners at GovernorHub and Governors for Schools on various Webinars and Conferences, all of which have helped to increase awareness of our organisation and the support we offer.

Our future is secure as an organisation but we are always looking for new members to join us, so if anyone reading this was an NLG under the old scheme which ended in Jun 2021, or knows someone who was, then please get in touch using the “Contact” option available on all pages of our website. At this point, this a pre-requisite to becoming a Member, although we will hope this will change in the future and we will recruit others that can prove their expertise in school or academy governance.

In the meantime, please have a browse of our website and feel free to download or use any of the free resources we have provided. Or if you are reading this because you have come to the website looking for support, please click of the Request Support button and we will get back to you as soon as practically possible.

Best wishes

All at IGovS


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