The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Governance

Tiffany Beck

Multi-academy trust governance: your questions answered

Governance was a hot topic at our annual MATs Summit. Tiffany Beck, chair of trustees at Maritime Academy Trust, answers some popular questions from the event. 1. We have a shortage of governors and trustees and require more skilled professionals. Can you share any tips on recruitment? Ask your...
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Gareth D Morewood

How to strengthen your SENCO-governor relationship

To the SENCO, a SEND governor can provide supportive accountability and critical friendship. Here are some ways to make this relationship count. Last week I emphasised that the start of the new term is the perfect time for SENCOs to plan strategically for effective SEND provision. But a SENCO is...
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Gareth D Morewood

SEND governance: in pursuit of support and accountability

When it comes to facilitating the best possible provision for SEND, governors can be a valuable ally for the SENCO and other leaders. I have been fortunate to serve as governor at each of the schools I’ve worked in to date. I have served as a staff and, more recently, co-opted governor. I have also...
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Gareth D Morewood

Even for governors, the law still trumps all!

I recently explained to a group of governors how they can actively support a school's provision for SEND. It starts with knowing the law and listening to key stakeholders! This week I was fortunate enough to address the University of Manchester’s School Governors Initiative annual conference. As...
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John Viner

Voluntary but unvalued: the crisis in governor recruitment

When governors are so often blamed for poor inspection judgements, is it any wonder that schools struggle to get committed volunteers through the door? When preparing for a Section 48 inspection I have to read a number of documents, including the school’s most recent Ofsted report. Recently, I...
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Lisa Griffin

Is it time to pay school governors?

With more accountability and greater pressure on school governors, we ask whether it is time this volunteer role became a paid one. Appointing headteachers, legal responsibilities, examining how the school budget is spent, scrutinising results and progress of pupils: these are just a few of the...
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Lisa Griffin

What makes a multi-academy trust successful?

The first Ofsted inspections of multi-academy trusts received mixed results. Optimus content lead Lisa Griffin outlines what is expected of MAT leaders and the challenges they are facing. With the number of multi-academy trusts (MATs) increasing (there are now over 500 MATs consisting of two or...
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Lisa Griffin

The need for a ‘thinking’ governing body

Lisa Griffin reports back from the Optimus ‘Developing Skilled and Strategic Governing Bodies’ conference. The first task of the day for those attending the conference was to answer a question posed by chair for the day Dr Jamie Clarke, an executive headteacher and National Leader of Education. He...
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