Anniversary matters

It has been a year since I started blogging on governance related matters. I thought now was a good time to pause and reflect on the year gone by. When I started blogging it was a means of putting my thoughts down. I was being stalked on Twitter by someone, which is why I decided to post anonymously. I have previously written about why I blogged anonymously so won’t go into that again. Suffice it to say that I was shocked at being stalked and more so as my stalker belonged to the field of education!

The first post I wrote after I “came out” was on governor training. Those who know me know how strongly I feel about this. It is not enough to be a committed, to be passionate about education and to have the time to devote to governance if governors won’t attend training. Hopefully, they will bring their “day job” skills to the board room but school governance is an entirely different ball game! A year down the line and I’m still telling anyone who’ll listen how important training is! And I’ll continue doing so till powers that be make it mandatory (I’m not holding my breath for this to happen anytime soon though!).

The next two topics I blogged about were clerking and the question of paying governors for their services. These, again, are still live issues, though I’m happy to say that more people now recognise how important good, professional clerking is. The other topic which is close to my heart is support for governors. We don’t have a union, we don’t strike and we don’t get paid, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t need support from time to time. This is why @UKGovChat is setting up a “gov buddy” system. This is being run as a 6 month pilot.

The above were some of the topics I had written about in 2013 and they are still “live issues” in 2014. We are living in what are very exciting times as far as education is concerned. At the same time, these are very challenging times too. Governance is under the spotlight as never before and rightly so. We are slowly moving from a stakeholder model to a more skilled based model; again rightly so in my opinion. The educational landscape is constantly changing. One of the core functions of governing bodies is holding the headteacher to account. We must, at the same time, remember that we are accountable too. We owe it to our students to “get it right”!

Has anything changed for me personally in this year? Well, for one thing I am now the Vice Chair of my Governing Body, a role which is keeping me very busy. I, luckily, have the support of some very experienced governors on whom I rely. A lot! I was involved in recruiting our headteacher. I have started the NCTL Chair Development Course which I am enjoying. I continue to attend conferences and meet governors and people interested in education. This is one of the best forms of CPD in my opinion and I would encourage everyone to attend as many conferences as they can. Twitter is the other CPD tool which I absolutely cannot do without now! The year has ended on a high for me. UKEdChat.com asked for nominations for the top educational blog and this blog has been nominated! I am very happy and also humbled as I am in the company of some really great bloggers. All too often governors are sidelined and I’m, therefore, really happy to see blogs by governors (clerktogovernors.co.uk by @ClerktoGovernor and onbeingagovernor.wordpress.com by @clare_collins) figure on this list. I’m going to have some cake now to celebrate one year of blogging, of governors being nominated for the top educational blog and for my blog being one of them!

                                    

                                    Image courtesy of mrsiraphol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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