Author Archives: governingmatters

Why blogging matters

Governing Matters

Blogging 2

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are a blogger or are on Twitter chances are you have heard about the list of bloggerscompiled by Andrew Old.He has been asking people to fill in their details (such as Twitter handle, subject, sector, etc). During the holidays he has set a daily challenge to fill out 30 details which are changed every day. Yesterday’s challenge was to fill any 30 boxes but the most popular options in each category would not count towards your total. Amongst these popular ones were male and secondary. I did manage to complete the challenge but asked on twitter why there were so many male, secondary bloggers as that meant it took me a long time to complete the challenge. This led to a discussion on Twitter, first about why men outnumber women and then about why there weren’t many governors who blogged. There…

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Lead Us Not Into Stagnation

School Governor Blog

stagnationLittle known fact. If you enter the Amazon website, click on books, and then enter the word Leadership you unleash seventy six pages of weighty tomes all dedicated to the art, at least it appears to be, of being an effective leader of men and women. From business leaders to politicians, to educationalists to sports coaches, each has different opinions and different recommendations for getting the best from your highly effective team. When one considers the human psyche and an inevitable propensity to either lead or be led it is clearly an important issue. If the led are to be galvanised, mobilised, and incentivised, it requires a skilled front man (or woman) to facilitate this process.

Earlier this year I was invited to join our senior management team where I work. I already had line management responsibility but the incoming chief executive believed my area of work was so critical…

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A beginner’s guide to the National Funding Formula for schools

hellomrsparrow

I was in a finance meeting last week and there was discussion around changes in the National Funding Formula (NFF) for schools. Although I was aware of the background and the criticisms of the original formula, I wasn’t up to speed with the latest changes and thought that many governors (and perhaps school leaders too) wouldn’t be either. So I hope the below helps; it’s a complex subject and I’d welcome any corrections/clarifications. Much of the below is a distillation of three long papers, which are linked to at the bottom and worth reading.

Background and context

The current NFF is the culmination of recent effort to clarify and simplify the amount of government funding each school can expect. Before 2003 schools funding was included in a block grant from central government to local authorities (LAs), with no expectation of a particular amount being spent on schools. Increasing pressure on…

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From Gin to Trustee…..

The Young(ish) Governor

blog 4

Last week was National Trustees’ week which followed international wine week and international gin appreciation day… (someone please tell me a) how did I miss those and b) how do I get involved?) and during that week  I started to think about this blog post.

All the information I read on the subject of trustees during that week seemed quite lengthy and unappealing (if I am honest when I opened one PDF consisting of 32 pages I wanted to turn around and sign up to international wine week!) so I thought I would pull together some of my brief thoughts on what it is like being a young (yes in case you had forgotten!) trustee/director (as well as a governor) on a Multi Academy Trust /Company (as well as first and foremost being a mum to two fabulous little humans  within this Academy system).

So here goes…. (I promise it…

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Measure For Measure

School Governor Blog

judge

For those who have come to know me primarily through my role as a school governor, it may surprise some of you to know that since 1986 I have been a qualified football referee. Courtesy of lots of effort and commitment, and no little luck, I managed to work my way up through the ranks, and whilst I would never claim to have been a beacon of excellence, I did somehow contrive to steal thirteen years in the professional game. This allowed me to grace the turf of some of the country’s great stadia and rub shoulders with several legends of the beautiful game.

In order to retain one’s status we had to pass an annual fitness test. In the early days this consisted of a relatively comfortable jaunt around a running track where 2700 metres had to be covered in twelve minutes of continuous running. Provided you had trained…

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An Inspector Calls……

School Governor Blog

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A couple of years ago we fancied going out for something to eat. Now those who know me will readily testify I don’t get out much. However it was a minor celebration and an opportunity for some “us” time. We then had a chat about where we might go. Ideally somewhere sufficiently local to get a taxi without requiring a second mortgage for the fare. So, as you do, I hopped on Trip Advisor. By happy coincidence its top rated restaurant was only two miles away. I quickly scanned the almost exclusively effusive comments and noted it had a maximum hygiene rating. An added bonus for me was that it was a listed building dating back to the 1600s with a nice selection of real ales.

But here’s the thing. Call me old-fashioned but when I go out to a quaint British pub, I hope to find a traditional menu…

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If You Can’t Say Something Nice, Then Don’t Say Nothing At All

School Governor Blog

arguing teachers

I have to say I really did try and see if I could Harvard reference the above  quotation without success, so, suffice to say for those unfamiliar, they are the words spoken by the young rabbit Thumper to the fawn Bambi long before the latter grew a magnificent set of antlers and the former presumably ended up in a game casserole (post watershed version so please don’t tell children). I have been considering those wise words quite a lot recently as I continue to explore Twitter in an endless quest to learn more about education and in particular school governance.

I’ve always had a passion for learning and for education. I guess like most of us the fires were lit in the home and fanned in school. My parents, although not particularly well-off always made sure there were books in the home. From my first foray into Ladybird’s Peter and…

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