Back to School – common challenges facing school governors and company directors

Serving on the board of a school – or, increasingly, on the board of a group of schools – represents a tremendous opportunity for current or aspiring board members from the private sector.

In thousands of organisational contexts around the country, directors can apply and develop their governance and financial acumen and make a major impact on the future development of their local community and society as a whole. This is both a valuable activity in itself and a great opportunity for board level professional development.

Equally, experienced school governors are a large untapped source of talent for private sector boards.  In increasingly crucial areas for the private sector, such as the board’s oversight of corporate culture and the navigation of complex stakeholder relationships, they may offer perspectives and competencies which are still underdeveloped in their private sector peers.

Although they may define organisational success in different ways, board members in the private and educational sectors face many similar governance challenges. In particular, they both have to forge robust but constructive relationships with the executive leadership of their organisations. And both must be creative in terms of gaining access to smart information that will enable them to ask the right questions and make informed decisions.

This paper examines some of the common challenges facing boards in business and education, and identifies some common solutions. It is our conviction that, as the two way flow of board members between the two sectors increases, the competence of boards and individual directors will also increase – as they mutually benefit from diverse but complementary skillsets, and tap into as yet underexploited pools of talent.

Read the full paper here.

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