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Coming Soon - Brand New SGOSS Campaign

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Children deserve the best possible education, but you don't need to be a politician or a teacher to help make a difference.

Here at SGOSS we have a very exciting campaign launching soon...

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The role and responsibilities of a governor in an academy can vary. Not just in comparison to other types of school but between different types of academy, too. Working with Wilsons Law, we’ve put together a guide to academy governance – read more here!

 

There are over 4000 academies in England and consequently tens of thousands of academy governors. But what exactly is the role of a school governor in an academy?

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Becoming a school governor is an exciting experience, but it can be a daunting one too. Here are 6 top tips for new volunteers joining governing bodies this new academic year.

 

1 - You don't need to be an expert on school governance when you start.

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The next NLG application round will open from 3 October until 3 November 2014.  A further round will open in January 2015. Please see the
updated DfE website for updated information - a link to apply will be available on this page from 3 October.

National Leaders of Governance are skilled chairs of governors who offer their support and experience to other governing bodies. More information can be found about the initiative here.

This application round will focus on areas of greatest need, ensuring geographical coverage so that all schools can access support from an NLG. Local authorities have been listed which currently have sufficient supply of NLGs and we will not be seeking applications from however, applications will still be encouraged subject to willingness/ability to work outside those areas in neighbouring local authorities.

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As the new school year gets underway, governors will be reflecting on the achievements of the previous year and their aims for the year ahead. But deciding on specific aims can be difficult, and with many reforms to GCSEs and A levels now beginning, it can be hard to see the bigger picture. Nancy Wilkinson from Wellcome Trust’s Education and Learning team introduces a free, online resource, “
Questions for Governors”, that the Trust has helped to develop.

School governors have always played a vital role in ensuring the success of schools but over the past few years there has been an increased focus and awareness of just how important they are and on the work they do. The government also recognise this: earlier this year they launched Inspiring Governors alongside industry partners, a new initiative to increase the number of employers who support their staff to volunteer as school governors. Moreover, SGOSS – Governors for Schools funding has been extended until at least March 2016, ensuring schools can be supported when searching for new governors.

It is vital that in order to be most effective, governing bodies need the right balance of skills to set the strategic vision for the school, hold the head teacher to account and oversee the school’s finances. And, crucially, they need the tools and support to help them do this.

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SGOSS Partnership with The Key

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We’re very happy to announce that SGOSS is working with The Key meaning all SGOSS governor appointments made in the Summer and Autumn term come with 6 months free membership to The Key’s fantastic support service.

SGOSS and The Key have been looking at how we can best support newly-placed governors get to grips with the role so that they can start being effective from their first meeting. From this, we’re now very happy to say that The Key is offering a free six-month membership to those governing bodies where SGOSS placed a governor during the summer term.[1] This membership is for the entire governing body and also covers the clerk to the governor; moreover, new SGOSS governors placed during the autumn term will also be offered free membership for their governing body, starting from January.

 

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NGA Outstanding Governance Awards 2015

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Do you know an outstanding governing body or clerk? Make sure you nominate them for the National Governors’ Association’s Outstanding Governance Awards!


Nominations are open for NGA’s Awards for Outstanding Governance. These national awards are presented every two years to a governing board and clerk that have made an outstanding contribution to the education of children and young people in their schools.  The NGA are calling for nominations from all schools across the country, be they academies, federations, LA maintained schools, multi-academy trusts, free schools, or any other government-funded school.

Help to celebrate the important contribution that governors, trustees and clerks make to education. Anyone can submit a nomination – you don’t even need to be a member of NGA to nominate or be nominated!

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Last September we visited Cheshunt School in Hertfordshire as the team were looking for new volunteers to join their governing body.

 

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With the new academic year getting underway, Area Manager Will Mason-Jebb looks at how volunteers across the country can support education by going back to school as governors.

 

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Schools have a great deal to benefit from the skills of Marketing and Communications professionals. Our latest skills e-mag shows how these skills can be used on governing bodies.

 

Following on from our Finance and Construction skills e-mags, in this edition we've been highlighting how Marketing & Communications professionals can lend their skills to the world of governance.

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As the new Academic year approaches, one of the main issues facing many governing bodies is ensuring their school conforms to the September 2012 governing body constitution regulations by September 2015. The Department for Education has put together guidance for this change[1], but we have put together this useful go-to guide covering the main points which hopefully provides a bit of help!

 

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An SGOSS Update - August 2014

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It may well be the summer holidays for schools – but not here at SGOSS!

Indeed, if you are a school governor, there are still things you can be up to over the summer break (see our ‘Top 5 tips’ here) but it’s definitely a time in which the focus changes; a chance to take a step back and prepare for the busy schedule ahead!

As schools are out of term time, governor appointments slow down significantly and so the summer really is a big recruitment focus to ensure that, come September, schools have access to a pool of skilled and enthusiastic candidates. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a school governor – apply here!

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myAcademies is a free to use, online social networking portal for education professionals in academies and converting schools. Since launching in late April over 1800 members have joined myAcademies which provides a secure space to engage in active debate, learn best practice and collaborate with peers up and the down the country. For this blog Amy Brecken-Simons, Community and Content Manager at myAcademies tells us a bit more about the service and why online networking and collaboration is so critical for successful governance.

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National education charity SGOSS – Governors for Schools is calling on more universities to support school governor initiatives following on from a hugely successful partnership with The University of Manchester. With schools increasingly looking for school governors with a background in education, universities are in a perfect position to help.

Over the past 2 years, The University of Manchester has worked with SGOSS to grow their governor network from 50 to over 250 school governor volunteers. By hosting networking events, delivering presentations and raising awareness of the role, this collaboration has helped to ensure local schools have access to skilled governors ultimately driving up school standards.

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It’s getting to the end of the academic year and it means both school staff and students have a well-deserved rest. But what does the end of the school year mean for governors? Of course, depending on which school you are serving at it may not be the end of term at all! However, we’ve noted down a few pointers which may be useful until the new academic year starts again in September…

 

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Gildredge House in East Sussex is our brand new School of the Month - this fantastic school opened in just September last year needs enthusiastic new school governors to join the team. Can you help?

 

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The University of Manchester’s School Governor initiative has been a huge success, winning the International Green Gown Award for Social Responsibility in 2013. For Governor Thoughtnightly’s first guest blog Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach and Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at the University tells us a bit more about the programme and why other universities should think about getting involved.

 
Like many higher education institutions, The University of Manchester has long-standing relationships with schools and colleges across the country through our student recruitment and outreach work. A­s well as activities promoting study at Manchester, we undertake extensive work with young people in the most disadvantaged areas of Greater Manchester to raise general awareness of higher education. This is part of our strategic commitment to social responsibility, where we set out to make a positive contribution to society. Through our work with these schools we learned that many of them struggle to recruit appropriately skilled people to their Boards of Governors.


In the last ‘Thoughtnightly’ blog, Adam Balzano referred to the importance of raising awareness of the role of school governor and encouraged organisations to harness the skills of their staff to fulfil these vital roles in schools and colleges. We are the UK’s biggest university, with over 11,000 staff undertaking a vast range of roles: teaching and research, estates management and HR, financial services and project management, to name but a few. We also have contact with around 270,000 former students – our alumni.

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SGOSS First Quarter - 2014-2015

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The first quarter to 2014 has been our most successful yet - this means more schools being helped and more volunteers getting involved with governance but, most importantly, it means more children gaining the support of skilled governing bodies.


As schools approach the end of the academic year, we’re still hard at work finding skilled volunteers for governing bodies across the country. The first quarter to the year has been our most successful yet and this is something we’re hugely proud of because it means more children are being supported by diverse and effective governing bodies.

Already we have placed over 600 school governors and received over 1,100 applications and although school governance is not an issue of simple numbers, we do our best to ensure that new governors are placed into the schools that need their skills the most.

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SGOSS Area Manager Team Leader Adam Balzano gives a regional response to London-focussed news stories about education. Success can be found right across the country, but what challenges are we still presented with?

So, yet another report has shown that London schools are, as a whole, outperforming their regional counterparts. My colleague Tom Frankel pointed this out in the previous piece and, as I write this, the Institute for Fiscal studies has published research which observes, “Schoolchildren from disadvantaged backgrounds in London are achieving better academic results than those in the rest of England” with 54% of pupils eligible for free school meals in inner London receiving 5 A-C GCSE’s compared to 33% outside of the capital.

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For the second piece in SGOSS's fortnightly blog about school governance, Area Manager for London, Tom Frankel, offers a perspective from the capital.

 

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