Frequent changes to education policy are school governors’ biggest challenge

Keeping up with the numerous education policy changes and effective time management are the main issues school governors are faced with,  according to delegates at the first SCHOOLS NorthEast Regional Governance Conference .DSC_0392.JPG

Over 300 school governors in the region attended the Regional Governance Conference today, coming together under one roof to hear from sector experts and bring their own input.

When asked what the biggest challenges are for one of the largest volunteering forces in the country, the attendees listed multiple factors but agreed that the many changes in education policy are hard to keep up with, and managing their time effectively can also be problematic.


Fears over school budgets and funding, as well as the recruitment and retention of senior staff in their schools, were amongst the challenges listed at the top.

But delegates were also keen to share what their greatest achievements were, with a significant majority quoting the improvement of their school and seeing pupils’ lives being transformed.


The day began with a speech from David Walker from Avec Partnership Ltd, who gave an overview of the school governor’s competency framework and its high importance in shaping the volunteering force.

North East governors heard from Her Majesty’s Inspector Belita Scott, Ofsted’s National Lead for Governance, who urged all governors to ensure they have a clear understanding of the strategic part of their role by reading the various policy documents, guidance papers and frameworks produced for them.


The HMI said governing boards with very proactive clerks are more effective in carrying out their primary role within the school and noted that Ofsted looks at how committed governors are to their own personal development when inspecting schools.

A series of breakout sessions were held throughout the day on various topics, including:
– accountability for both primary and secondary school delegates
– effective governance
– structures: roles and responsibilities
– strategic leadership

We would like to thank Clive Owen LLP, Churchill Community College, Avec Partnership Ltd, Fellside Community Primary School, Sunderland City Council and Cardinal Hume Catholic School for running these sessions and providing their expertise.

DSC_0359.JPGDelegates were asked to write down what their biggest challenge has been as a governor, as well as their biggest achievement and what makes them proud to be governors. Three cards were picked randomly to win some great prizes kindly donated by Durham County Cricket Club. Congratulations to Colin Red (Federation of St Peter’s Elwick and Hart Primary School), Glenys Newby (Cleves Cross Primary School) and L. Cannell-Mirza (Talbot House Trust)!


Many thanks to everyone who attended, as well as to all speakers and exhibitors – we hope you all enjoyed the conference!

DSC_0364.JPGSpecial thanks go to main sponsor Ward Hadaway Law Firm for kindly supporting the event.

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