There are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing in schools across England. It is often quoted that this is the largest team of volunteers in the country. With schools facing significant challenges, it is more important than ever for Governors to have clarity on local and national issues in order to provide effective strategic direction for their schools.

As Lead for Governance at HEP, I have had the pleasure to meet many governors who are supporting local schools and to hear first-hand about the exciting things going on in schools, as well as the challenges being faced. These meetings and my initial conversations have informed the plans we have for the 2023 Governor conference.

Governance under pressure

We know a key pressure for governors is being able to juggle your role with other responsibilities. Therefore, the aim of the 2023 conference is for governors to leave with a clear idea of key national and local issues, and with a clear sense of how you can develop your practice at a school level.

What’s going on nationally?

Our keynote speaker is Laura McInerney, who will be providing insight into what’s going on nationally and the key issues that will be impacting schools, including funding, recruitment and retention of staff and SEND. There will also be an opportunity for a Q&A session for you to get Laura’s very informed view on issues that may be impacting your school.

What’s going on locally?

We will then move to the more local picture and ensure there is a sense of place, with Cllr Brabazon, who will provide a local context with priorities and key issues for Haringey.

We are fortunate to have a team of Local Leaders of Governance across Haringey, who are able to share their insight into local issues and how schools are working across their networks to provide support for each other.

What’s going on in your school?

There will be an opportunity for governors attending the conference to choose from one of three workshops, which provide a focus on your own governing board and school.

Holding school leaders to account is a core responsibility of a governor, but what sources of information are there to support you in having an accurate picture of what’s going on in your school? Fran Hargrove is leading a session on just that.

Are you looking to engage more effectively with what’s going on in your school? Penny Rabiger will be providing insight into Governance by Enquiry to develop your skills here.

As governors rarely sit on more than one board, it is important to consider whether there are ways in which you could work more effectively. Steve Barker will be giving governors an opportunity to consider how efficiently they are working as a board in his workshop.

Finally, there will be an opportunity for governors to enjoy a buffet lunch and network, leaving with a good sense of what’s going on.

If you would like to join us, please book your place on Eventbrite, or via GovernorHub if your Governing Body buys into the HEP Governor training offer.

About the Author:

Anne Etchells

Anne Etchells is the Lead for Teacher Development, Leadership and Governance at HEP. Prior to working for HEP fulltime last September, she was the headteacher of an outstanding Haringey primary school. She has over 20 years of experience in a range of governance roles.

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