Governor Table Discussion
Governors Conference 2018
Governors were invited to discuss any topics of interest and relevance to them, using if preferred, the topic prompts available.
There was a discussion about the Manchester based charity ‘The Bread and Butter Thing’, which works with supermarkets to provide free food for families – regardless of circumstances. If a family thinks they need help, they’ll get it.
Governors suggested that it was one way to combat ‘holiday hunger’ and it was suggested that the Trust could link in more formally with this charity or similar.
Openness and Honesty
It was raised that governors should see a more honest ‘real’ version of the academy when they visit. Some academies may put on a ‘tour’ for governors that is prearranged and stage managed. Governors would expect to have a more genuine experience with the freedom to talk to students.
Awareness of governors should also be raised within the academies. So that staff and students are aware of who the governors are and how they work.
There are concerns around the challenges of providing a wide curriculum whilst balancing the funds of the academy.
The new Ofsted framework looks at curriculum, breadth, opportunities and much wider outcomes – academies want to meet the demands of this.
One Principal also raised the issues around balancing a budget but ensuring that schools recruit and retain the best teachers.
Governors acknowledged that there are difficult decisions to be made. It was suggested that governors should retain their red-lines around what they’re prepared to lose in order to manage the budget.
Governors should also gain better insight into their academies curriculum.
Co-operation between academies
Academies are now closely linked geographically. Governors discussed how they could do more to co-operate, share best practice and support other academies with short-term resource issues.
Governors are expected to understand their academy, there has been a heavy focus on this but governors raised that they now need to focus on better understanding other academies in their community and how they can work with other governing bodies.
Getting to know your fellow Governors
Governors raised the point that they would like to take time to get to know fellow governors outside of the meetings.
Recruitment and retention
Governors raised the fact that whilst salary is important still with regards to recruitment and retention – there are a large number of candidates coming forward who are actively seeking roles within the Trust because of the ‘experience’ and development that it offers.
Governors agreed that this is something they are keen to preserve and will work even harder to engrain.
Governors raised the possibility that those on the Boards of academies that are significantly more established could play an important role in supporting those governing bodies that are newly formed or still developing.