Coronavirus: Support for schools and governors and how you can help
Schools across the country are facing unprecedented times as a result of the coronavirus. When they start to run again as usual, there will be many new challenges to navigate.
Our priority is supporting schools and governors while they work to keep children safe during this time.
Your skills can help schools in the aftermath of the pandemic.
We don’t know what the next few weeks and months will look like, but we want to get the support that schools will need in place. Apply to become a governor now and we’ll match your skills with a school in need, so that you’re ready to help when life returns to a new version of normality.
Apply to become a governor
Training and support to get you up to speed
Schools will need volunteers ready to step in once they return to the new normal.
If a local school has a need for your skills but you’re not able to join the board just yet, we have lots of free online training resources to get you prepared.
See training and support
Can I still apply to become a governor while the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing?
Yes – we’re actively encouraging people to apply to volunteer as a school governor. Having suitable volunteers lined up ready to lend their support once schools are running as usual again will make a big difference.
Are schools closed due to coronavirus?
The majority of children are not attending school, but schools remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
Is now a good time to apply to become a governor, or should I wait until schools are operating normally again?
Strong school leadership is more important than ever, and when schools return to normal, they’ll be facing entirely new challenges. For that reason, we’re encouraging applications now, so that we have committed volunteers ready to lend their support. Some placements are still going ahead so that governors can start providing remote support immediately. For volunteers that apply and are then waiting for a vacancy or for their application to progress, we have a host of free training to access so you can be effective as soon as you start your governorship.
Are schools still looking for governors?
Yes – schools are adapting to the current circumstances, and while some have had to put recruitment on hold to manage the crisis, others are meeting volunteers via video calls and progressing with applications.
We’ve also approached schools to see where there most urgent need is to see where Associate Governors may be suitable (often with specific skills and no voting rights, to help with a specific area), and have found a warm reaction. In addition, schools are still registering vacancies, albeit with some having the intention of progressing applications when schools return.
My application is on hold during lockdown. Can I be put forward for a different opportunity?
If you’ve started the application process with a school, we’d encourage you to be patient with them at this time. They will still need support but are having to prioritise. If you haven’t heard back from the school once they’re running as usual again, we’ll be happy to look at alternatives for you.
Are governing boards still meeting or holding meetings virtually?
With the social distancing guidelines in place, we expect that most governing boards are either postponing their meetings or holding them virtually instead. We’ve heard from many governors who have held their meetings over Zoom or Microsoft Teams and have been able to support the school through effective virtual governance.
How long will it take to find a suitable governor position and is it likely to be longer than usual?
It’s likely to take us a little longer to find a governor opportunity for you as fewer schools are registering vacancies. This is because schools are currently focusing on short-term priorities and adjusting to the new situation. However, once schools are out of the initial crisis over the coming weeks, we expect to see a shift in focus to medium-longer term thinking. At this point, schools will need capable volunteers ready to join their boards to help with the inevitable post-lockdown challenges.
Will I be able to visit the school that I’m applying to?
Schools are following the latest government advice, which means that currently, school visits aren’t possible. Visits are being replaced with calls or video calls.
As a school or academy, can we still register vacancies through Governors for Schools while schools are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic?
Yes, we’re still receiving vacancy registrations and applications from volunteers. The Governors for Schools team is working as usual from home, and we’re still able to look for volunteers who best match your vacancy requirements.