Being a trustee/director of a local multi academy trust brings joy to my heart and additional emails to my inbox.

The sense of worth and pride at the end of an academic year, when attending the ‘Leavers Ceremony’ for the Year 6 students about to fly the nest and start the next chapter of their lives at secondary school, is second to none and provides reassurance that the time spent in meetings and reading reports is all worthwhile.

When the schools in the Trust are on a journey of improvement, and children are making progress, this is when the impact of a good governing board shows it’s worth.

Passionate about education and laying the foundations for future generations

Some people wonder why I volunteer my time to be part of a board, especially as I recruit governors and trustees on a daily basis.

My reasons are personal and resonate with my passion for education and the transformation that a good education can make to a person’s life.

Making a difference from the roots upwards, by making sure the right framework and support is in place to provide children with every opportunity to flourish.

It also enables me to be real in my recruitment ethos. Helping me understand the highs and lows of being a governor and sharing my experiences about the importance of a trustee role.

What makes an outstanding governor board – seven key tips:

Having recruited fabulous people onto boards across the country and experienced the differing dynamics in a board room, I believe that I can offer a well-rounded view on the differences an outstanding board should offer:

  1. Critical challenge without confrontation
  2. Support for one another
  3. Openness and honesty
  4. Structured feedback – upwards & downwards
  5. A differing perspective – a fresh pair of eyes & ears
  6. A sounding board
  7. Rational and constructive thinking without being emotive to the subject

The tribulations facing multi academy trusts and the education sector

The challenges for multi academy trusts are no different to the rest of the education sector. Falling student numbers, reduced funding, increased expectations from parents, the Department of Education and Ofsted, skills shortage (especially inspiring maths teachers) and increased/decreased social mobility – the list could go on.

But, despite the challenges, the sector must move forward with the times despite the strain on financial resources.

It really doesn’t feel too long ago that every class had a green screen BBC desktop computer, whereas now each student demands a top-of-the-range iPad and/or smartbook, instant access to the WiFi and charging points around the school premises – how times have changed!

So, it’s all a balancing act.

Recognising what is important for the students versus finances, achievement rates and delivering high-quality education to our future workforce.

Not all are going to be the next Albert Einstein, Margaret Thatcher or Tim Berners-Lee, but providing students with the opportunity to embrace the possibilities and inspiring them to achieve the best possible outcome is what it’s all about.

That’s why I will continue to be a trustee in the sector and strive to engage the best candidates on a daily basis – it’s all about making a difference.