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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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Volunteers Week – 30 Year Anniversary!

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This week, 1st-7th June, is Volunteers Week (http://volunteersweek.org), a chance to take a step back and give a hearty thank you to those who volunteer their time to help others. Of course we want to thank school governors, but this is a wider issue involving millions of people across the country that do fantastic work in different sectors and their work helps to make a positive difference to our society. So here’s a giant thank you. Literally:


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For the first piece in a new fortnightly blog about school governance, SGOSS Area Manager Andrew Rushton explains why he thinks school governors represent a great example of community engagement.

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Inspiring Governors logo
Yesterday saw the launch of The Inspiring Governors Alliance – an alliance of organisations including the NGA, NCOGS, CBI, SGOSS, BIS, DfE and the Education and Employers Taskforce that have come together to demonstrate and build on the highly skilled work by school governors.

The Alliance aims to encourage both more high calibre volunteers to apply for the role and more employers to support their staff to volunteer as governors. This work will help to ensure that schools have access to governors with the relevant skills and experience they need to improve.

The publication of a ‘The State of School Governing in England 2014’ report by the University of Bath accompanied the launch. Amongst other key findings, the report showed that two-thirds of schools find recruiting governors is difficult and approximately 37% agreed that the governing body would be more effective if volunteers of higher quality were recruited.

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Team Member Tuesday: Fay Marshall

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Name: Fay Marshall

 

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The Academies Show

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SGOSS is delighted to announce that we will be at  The Academies Show London on the 30th April.

 

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Our latest School of the Month features Little Mead Primary Academy in North Bristol. Little Mead is a successful academy school offering high quality education for children in the local area. 

In this video, Head Teacher Barbara Daykin and Chair of Governors Angela Glasner discuss their vision for the school, what they're looking for in a new governor and why Little Mead is a great school to be involved with. 

Barbara and Angela are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to join the governing body. They are looking for members of the local community who have an enthusiasm for children's learning and are keen to secure the best education for the school's pupils.

If you would like to find out more about school governor opportunities at Little Mead Academy, contact us directly on 020 7354 9806 or email:

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Team Member Tuesday: Alice Jones

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Name: Alice Jones

 

Job title: Area Manager.

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Why Being a School Governor is Great

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You may have seen today’s BBC news story about our SchoolMakers2014 campaign which aims to raise awareness of the school governor role and fill some of the vacant positions in schools across the country.

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SGOSS Team Member Tuesday: Andy Matfield

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Job title: Business Development Manager


Time at SGOSS:
1 year


I’m the office… irritatingly enthusiastic person.

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By Andy Matfield, Business Development Manager, SGOSS

The idea of a paperless working environment is nothing new, but as technology becomes easier to use and more responsive to our needs, is it time for governing bodies to sit up and take notice?

 

 

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School of the month

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Our new school of the month features Middlewich Primary School in Crewe. Hear from Head Teacher Sandy La Porta and Chair of Governors Jackie Thorpe who discuss their vision for the school, what they're looking for in a new governor and what a newly appointed governor can expect at Middlewich School.

 

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Our Senior Manager for Business Development, Luke Dickinson (second from left), celebrates with the UoM team.

 

We would like to congratulate the University of Manchester on winning the International Social Responsibility Award at the Green Gown Awards 2013. We are extremely grateful for all the support provided by the University and the number of governor volunteers they have recruited for SGOSS over the past two years. We are looking forward to further strengthening our partnership in the future.

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Job title: Area Manager

 

Time at SGOSS: 2 ½ years

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Lord Nash visits SGOSS

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Lord Nash popped in to the SGOSS office yesterday to have a chat with the team and discuss the successes achieved and challenges faced in recruiting school governors. He then posed for this photo

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