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Durham University

University and City: Growing together

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Helping our staff to help local schools

(9 September 2019)

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

As a university, education is what we’re all about. But this doesn’t start and end with our own students. We also work hard to support education in schools, particularly in our local area. One way we do this is by supporting our staff to serve as school governors.

What help we offer…

Staff can apply for up to five days’ paid leave per year to volunteer for charities and good causes, and staff who serve as governors can use their volunteering leave for this role.

We also run a network for governors, and share news, updates and professional development opportunities.

Increasing our support, making a bigger impact

Last year, we stepped up our support – by setting up the governors’ network, and running information sessions for staff interested in becoming a governor.

We’re pleased that over the past year, the number of staff serving as governors has risen by nearly two-thirds, to 55.

The network is also growing in strength. Recently, we held an end-of-year event with guest speaker Julia Millard, who is a local governor and part of the National Leaders of Governance organisation.

How it works: James’ story

James is an Executive Assistant in our Faculty of Social Sciences and Health, and also Chair of Governors at Aycliffe Village Primary School – his son’s school.

Since joining us last year, James has been able to use volunteering leave to help the school achieve a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted.

He says the time has been invaluable, helping him manage his commitments as a governor and his full-time job. It’s also helped him develop skills in leadership, strategic thinking and resilience – which will help him in his work here, too.

Tell me more…

If you’d like to know more about the support we offer staff to serve as school governors, please visit our Access and Engagement web pages.