At the University of Leeds, we recognise the value to staff and alumni becoming school governors and the positive impact this has on children, communities and the University. We also have a clear strategic commitment to widening participation and to positively contribute to making Leeds the great City it is. 

As part of our commitments, we are working in collaboration with the charity Governors for Schools to increase the number of staff and alumni serving as School Governors in schools across Leeds and West Yorkshire.  Our programme has been developed to provide support to both existing and prospective school governors. As well as helping staff and alumni interested in school governance to find vacancies, we offer support and networking opportunities to everyone involved in our programme.

If you…

  • Have an interest in influencing and making a difference to children’s education and give children the best possible opportunities in life.
  • Have the ability to work collaboratively to meet a school’s aims and objectives.
  • Want to put your skills and experience to good use and offer schools on outsider’s perspective.
  • Have an interest in gaining new insights into the education system.
  • Would like to develop new skills and experience to enhance your own professional development.
  • Would like to act as an ambassador for the University’s work with local schools.

School governance is a great opportunity for you! 

Read our blog to find out what governance means to each volunteer and why we are calling on more staff and alumni to become a school Governor.

Download our School Governors Briefing for information on the School Governor role, the benefits and what you can expect from the role.  (PDF)

Local Schools Need Your Skills

Become a School Governor

Staff and Alumni interested in becoming School Governors can register with our charity partner Governors for Schools here. [1] Someone from the charity will be in touch about next steps with being matched with a school. [1] Please note, that Governors for Schools is a registered charity and operates independently from the University of Leeds. Your progress and any school placement details will be collected and monitored by the University. 

Training and Support

New School Governors can benefit from a package of training and support from the start of their roles. Through our charity partners, all staff and alumni have access to a suite of e-learning modules, monthly webinars and 6 months access to The Keys up to date intelligence, tools and resources.

The University of Leeds School Governors Network

Any staff and alumni interested in becoming a school governor or are already working with schools can register to be involved with our School Governor Network.  Members benefit from our programme of support. Networking opportunities include a Jiscmail group and networking events through the year to facilitate the exchange of experiences, share best practice and provide support to staff and alumni in their roles.  Register your involvement by completing a short questionnaire, here


Download Governors For Schools Professional development through school governance report. (PDF)

Download Governors For Schools Guide to Academy Trust Governance. (PDF)

Upcoming Events and Webinars

Behaviour and attitudes in the new Ofsted framework (with Better Governor) Webinar
27 February 2020, 8:00am – 9:00am
Sign up here

Reputation management (with Irwin Mitchell) Webinar
10 March 2020, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Sign up here

Personal Development in the new Ofsted framework (with Better Governor) Webinar
26 March 2020, 8:00am – 9:00am
Sign up here

Strategic HR (with Irwin Mitchell) Webinar
9 June 2020, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Sign up here

Past Events and Webinars

All webinars are available to watch back on the following website shortly after they have taken place:

Safer recruitment (with Better Governor) Webinar
30 January 2020, 8:00am – 9:00am


Positive changes for managing ill-health in schools (with Irwin Mitchell) Webinar
14 January 2020, 12:30pm – 1:30pm


Hot Topics for School Governors Webinar- Free Webinar

  • Thursday 16 May @ 8am-9am, or
  • Monday 20 May @ 7pm-8pm

This free webinar will help governors in maintained schools and academies get up to speed with what is happening in education that is relevant to their role. The session will be invaluable preparation ahead of board meetings this term.

  • This term’s topics will include:
  • New Relationship & Sex Education Guidance
  • New Teacher Recruitment Website
  • New Related Party Transactions reporting requirements for Academy Trusts
  • New Interactive School Financial Value Standard (SFVS) 2019-20
  • DfE funding to schools for Teachers’ Pension increases

If other stories surface between now and the day, the list may be subject to change.

N.B. This webinar will be held on two dates. You can select which session to attend on the sign-up page.


Headteacher Recruitment – Free Webinar

Thursday 27 June @ 8am-9am

In this free webinar we’ll look at what governors in maintained schools and academies need to know if they are recruiting a new headteacher.

Traditionally most headteachers are recruited in summer term, so this timely webinar will prepare governors for their part in the process and ensure they understand their responsibilities. We’ll explore the full process of headteacher recruitment including the initial steps, advertising, shortlisting and selection techniques.


Self-Evaluation of Governance – Free Webinar

Thursday 18 July @ 8am-9am

This free webinar will explore how governors, trustees and those serving on local academy committees can ensure, through rigorous self-evaluation and reflection, that governance is effective and fit for purpose within their school or trust. We will explore both the rationale behind effective self-evaluation and some of the tools and techniques that boards can use.

Governors for Schools webinars are supported by Lloyds Banking Group


How to get involved with School Governance- Free Webinar

December 18 @ 11.30-12.30pm

We believe the key to improving school performance is effective governance. By finding, nurturing and supporting a committed network of governors we help to drive systematic change in how schools operate.

Find out how you can get involved and what the benefits are to you and the community in a free webinar hosted by Governors for Schools. Governors for Schools exists to improve educational standards so that children and young people have the chance to realise their full potential.


Effective School Governance- Free Networking Event

December 19 @ 12-1pm

Led by the Leeds Governor Support Service, this lunchtime session will explore what it takes to become an effective school governor and run an effective school board. This is also a great opportunity to meet and network with other school governors over a mince pie.

Book a place for the event here:

Advertise Your School Governor Vacancy

If you are a School Head or Chair of Governors looking to fill a current vacancy, you can register your vacancies with our partner Governors for Schools.  They offer a bespoke matching service focused on finding the best school governors to support schools across England.  Register your vacancies through this link.


This initiative complements the existing staff opportunities offered through the Sustainability Strategy. See the other staff opportunities available through the Sustainability Service here.