One third of volunteers are university alumni – Are you supporting your network to drive educational improvement?
Posted on 19th February 2019
Our partnerships with universities play a major role in tackling the shortfall of school governors across England – but have you thought about the impact that your alumni can make?
As well as effectively supporting schools all across England, by promoting school governance to your alumni you’re helping to develop their skills beyond their studies and to build the networks that will take them even further in their careers.
This financial year, 33% of our volunteers have stated they are alumni of a University. And we know that alumni engagement significantly increases recruitment. The University of Manchester, one of our long-standing partners, sent a newsletter to alumni which resulted in over 40 enquiries in just one weekend. If every university that we currently work with was able to attract the same interest, we could support over 1,400 schools!
Helen Foote, Senior Alumni Officer at The University of Manchester tells us a little about how we work together:
“The School Governor Initiative is one of the signature programmes of The University of Manchester’s social responsibility agenda. Over the past seven years, we’ve worked with Governors for Schools to promote opportunities to our alumni community, encouraging them to make a difference to the leadership of hundreds of state schools.
“We’ve successfully placed nearly 800 alumni into governing roles across the country. Combined with the support of our staff school governors, this amounts to 10,896 days of support in schools each year, impacting on approximately 408,600 pupils.
“This would never have been possible without the support we’ve received from Governors for Schools, who’ve made the process incredibly manageable. Working closely with our Area Manager, we receive resources and information to help recruit new school governors, along with a list of priority areas where there is a need for new volunteers. We then contact alumni who are based in these locations to promote opportunities, highlighting the importance of the role and the opportunity for alumni to develop their professional skills, broaden their experience and improve educational standards. Alumni then register their interests through the Governors for Schools website, who manage the matching process and report back on progress.
“The programme has been recognised nationally and internationally as an exemplar of public service and social impact. It has won a National and International Green Gown Award, a Times Higher Education Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award, a Business in the Community Big Tick Award, a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and a Spirit of Manchester Award.
“With a wealth of skills and experience to contribute to society, alumni play a crucial role in supporting such a worthy cause. It is a pleasure to work with Governors for Schools and I would urge any other university to develop this partnership – which has the potential to make a huge impact on society.”