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Schools across England are looking for finance professionals to become school governors. We’ve created a new digital magazine aimed at getting more volunteers from the sector involved with this exciting role!

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We’re hiring!

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SGOSS is expanding and currently looking for great people to join our team.

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Octavo Partnership is a service provider in Croydon working to raise standards and deliver lasting school improvement and outcomes for all children and young people. This week, School Improvement Advisor Anna Ljumovic offers her opinions on British Values and what it means for governors.

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Peter Symonds College in Winchester are looking for volunteers to join their governing body. If you have HR experience within the public sector or experience in estates / project management get in touch!

 

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Did you know that last year we recruited over 900 governor volunteers from our top 20 supporting companies?

 

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Young governors making a difference

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In 2011 at 21 years of age, Tom Frankel joined Morgans Primary School as a governor. Fast forward to 2015, Tom is now Vice Chair having played a part in helping the school go from “Requires Improvement” to “Good” with Outstanding Leadership and Management. Tom says, “I don’t think my age was mentioned until two years into the role, it wasn’t really an issue.”

 

Some people may be surprised to learn that school governance is becoming an increasingly popular volunteering option for many young people. In 2013 alone, we received over 1,300 school governor applications from volunteers under the age of 30.

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Are You Making Schools Your Business?

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If you managed to catch our ‘Make Schools Your Business’ campaign last November, you will be aware of the growing need for business experience on school boards.

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Last month on Governor Thoughtnightly we suggested 6 reasons to become a school governor. But what if you’re already a governor and you need a new volunteer? Well, here are 6 reasons to register a school governor vacancy with SGOSS – Governors for Schools.

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Dr. Andrew Wilkins is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the University of East London and has published a variety of research papers on school governance. This fortnight, Dr Wilkins offers his thoughts on how school governance is changing and the increasing ‘professionalisation’ of the role.


School governance has gained increasing amounts of media attention as the role and responsibilities of governors has radically changed. This change has been described as a shift from a ‘stakeholder’ model of governance to ‘skills-based’ and, as a result, school governing bodies are now sometimes described as ‘amateurish’ and/or failing to challenge heads forensically’. These concerns were brought to mass media attention in 2014 when three schools run by Park View Education Trust were placed in special measures by Ofsted because of some governors exerting inappropriate influence over the running of their schools’.

Hence in recent years we have witnessed a growing demand for professionals in school governance or the professionalisation of existing governors. This means that governors are increasingly involved in performance reviews, training and professional development in order to ensure they meet the high expectations now placed on them. Only recently, the Department for Education said ‘it was now considering making all schools publish details of governing bodies’. Presumably this would include background details on each governor: skills, knowledge, professional experience, and so forth. Whilst I am not arguing against greater transparency in school governance – in fact, I would argue for more – I think it is important to consider some of these concerns which could lie behind the professionalisation of school governors.

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Across the country there are around 300,000 school governors helping to support school leadership teams. But what is it about the role which encourages so many committed volunteers to apply? Well, here are 6 reasons to become a governor…

 

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Earlier this week, SGOSS launched its legal sector digital magazine aimed at raising awareness of the value legal professionals can add as school governors - read it here! Mike Flockhart is a Partner with Herbert Smith Freehills and has been a School Governor for more than 11 years. Here's his story:


"I applied to be a school governor when I first joined the firm 11 years ago...

...I was a trainee solicitor and having just started in the City I also wanted to do something with a more community-focus. The opportunity to become a school governor came up and I thought it was a good thing to be involved in.

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Schools across England are looking for legal professionals to become school governors. We’ve created a new digital magazine aimed at getting more volunteers from the sector involved with this exciting role!

During 2014, 1 in 7 schools registering a school governor vacancy with SGOSS were looking for a volunteer with legal skills to fill the position. In response to this, we’ve created a free new digital magazine aimed at increasing awareness and interest in the role in the legal sector.


You can read the mag at www.sgoss.org.uk/legal-mag

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Schools to Business is an online platform which provides a range of resources for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) to help them engage directly with local schools. In this edition of Governor Thoughtnightly, Jordana Jackson from Heart of the City interviewed Sapphire Systems to understand how and why the company supports local schools.

Interview with Jan Fair, Head of CSR at Sapphire Systems

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This fortnight's Thoughtnightly falls on Christmas day, and what better time is there to say thank you to the thousands of dedicated volunteers and professionals across the country?

 

The Christmas period is a time of giving and this Governor Thoughtnightly is simply a chance for us to say thank you to all volunteers and professionals who dedicate their time to improving the life chances of children right across the country.

A heartfelt merry Christmas to all!

- SGOSS Team

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Social Media can be a tricky area for schools and governors: does your school have an online profile? If so, how is it used? We asked Andrew Davis - one of the UK’s leading authorities on digital and social media – to share some advice to the governorsphere.

What is the ‘So What’ in your social media?

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We’re delighted to announce that yesterday The University of Manchester won The Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community for their hugely successful School Governor programme.

The University of Manchester have been running a fantastic school governor initiative for some time now along with the support of SGOSS. It is full credit and fully deserved that yesterday the team won the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community. You can read more about their initiative in their SGOSS Guest Blog here.

The University’s work was a key reason why we called on more Universities to support school governor initiatives in a press release earlier in the year (reported by TES here), and this Award really illustrates how valuable and successful that support can be.

(You can also read The University's official announcement here)

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Future First partnered with SGOSS over a year ago to explore how alumni can be better integrated as governors at their old schools and colleges. Abigail Nokes, Senior Alumni Officer at Future First manages the relationships with the charity’s schools and colleges in the South-West and talks about their work with SGOSS.

Future First is an educational charity that works with over 400 state secondary schools and colleges across the UK to help them stay connected with students as they leave, but also track down those who have moved on over the years to see whether they’d be interested in getting back in touch and supporting current students.

Almost 100,000 people have signed up to support their old school or college. They are now living across the globe and doing a huge variety of things – from an interplanetary spacecraft analyst who comes from Devon to a museum curator in a Qatari university from Twickenham to the design manager of the 2012 Olympic Park who comes from North Wales. Thousands of these former students have been back to their alma mater to talk about their pathways since leaving, offer a work experience placement or make a donation. As a result we have young people across the country considering new pathways, broadening their horizons and actually working harder in their lessons having glimpsed their potential both now and for the future.

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SGOSS at the Academies Show

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Wednesday 26th November is the Academies Show in Birmingham. We’ll be attending this fantastic free event, will you?

This Wednesday, SGOSS will be hosting a stand at the Academy Show Birmingham (http://www.academiesshowbirmingham.co.uk/). The event is completely free to attend and you can register your place at http://www.academiesshowbirmingham.co.uk/online-registration/.

 

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This fortnight, we’ve put together some of our thoughts on training opportunities for governors and how to help ensure governing bodies have the skills needed to be effective. Here are some ideas, what are yours?

 

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Make Schools Your Business - Campaign Update

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At the start of November we launched our national Make Schools Your Business campaign aimed at encouraging more skilled professionals to volunteer their time as school governors.

The campaign launched with a bang as our Chair of Trustees, Clifford Burroughs and the Chair of Governors at West Byfleet Junior School, Ruth Murton joined the BBC Breakfast sofa to talk about the launch.


 

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