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Magistrates and school governors…a similar crisis in diversity?

Penelope Gibbs
16 May 2014

report came out this week suggesting that the governors of schools do not reflect their local communities, particularly in representing working class people, and BAME communities.  There is also a problem with employers not giving people time off for governor duties, and not respecting the value of governor “work”.  There are strong echoes here of the situation with magistrates – both are public sector volunteers, taking on pretty responsible roles but, for various reasons, both are not representative of the communities they serve.   One of the key differences is that there are lots of governor vacancies to be filled whereas, every time an area advertises for magistrates, they are inundated and can’t even process all the applications.  Those interested in recruiting governors have started a new campaign – Inspiring Governors.  I wish we could start a similarly high profile campaign to recruit magistrates  but, until there are more vacancies, it would simply not be worthwhile.