Optimus Education have organised conferences on governance in the past (I have storified tweets from the Birmingham conference here). As these events have proved to be very popular Optimus have decided to hold the conference again on 14th October, this time in Leeds. What’s more if you use the promotion code NK01 you can get £30 off the standard rate.*
Governance is under the spotlight as never before and rightly so in my opinion. Although we are volunteers that does not mean we should not carry out our duties to the best of our abilities. One way to ensure that we do so is by attending training and by finding out about best practice. Attending conferences is one way you can do both.
The Leeds conference will be focusing on how we can develop our skills so that we operate strategically. The main take-aways from this conference will be
- understanding the implications for governors of the changes to the Ofsted framework
- understanding strategies which can be used in recruitment and development of your governing body so that it operates strategically
- understanding governor responsibilities in light of the Trojan Horse scandal
The new Ofsted framework and governors
This will be the focus of the first keynote address of the day which will be delivered by Ruth Agnew. She will also be talking about evidence which you may be expected to present during your inspection. Ruth is a National Leader of Governance and a very experienced governance consultant. Her address will be worth listening to (especially as she is someone who really engages her audience).
Roles and responsibilities of governors and trustees
The second keynote will be delivered by Emma Knights, Chief Executive NGA. Her keynote will be about the effective governance after the Trojan Horse scandal and the roles and responsibilities of governors. Emma will also be leading one of the morning’s sessions.
Understanding statutory obligations of governing bodies
Mark Blois, Partner & Head of Education, Browne Jacobson LLP will deliver the third keynote address. He will be talking about the impact of the latest legislations and guidance on the work of governing bodies. Not only is Mark best placed to talk about legislation and how it affects us, he also chairs a MAT so has practical, on the ground experience as well.
Recruitment of skilled governors
The fourth keynote will be delivered by Lynne Tommony, National Leader of Governance who will be looking at how governing bodies can identify and recruit highly skilled governors. Recruitment of skilled governors is becoming more and more important but, sadly, at the same time for many governing bodies, it is also becoming harder. This session will, therefore, be very useful and timely.
There will be various sessions running throughout the day which will equip you with tools to help your governing body discharge its functions effectively.
1A You will have a chance to hear from Matt Millar, NLG and Chair of Governors about his Ofsted experience. He will be talking about what evidence were the inspectors looking for and what questions were put to him and his fellow governors.
1B Emma will lead this session and she will be talking about NGA’s new framework of governance and how that can be used to drive the development of strategic vision by governing bodies.
1C As governors one of our duties is data evaluation which is what Dr Jamie Clarke, Executive Headteacher, Sponne School will be talking about
After lunch sessions:
2A Yvonne Lewington’s, (Lead Consultant, From Good To Outstanding), session will be on skill audits. She will be talking about how to conduct an audit and how to use the results to inform your governing body’s training and recruitment needs.
2B Sue Pagliaro, Director, LiveLearn (UK) Ltd, School Governance Consultancy will be discussing effective clerking. Professional and effective clerking is very important and this session will focus on how governing bodies can make best use of their clerks.
2C Governors, especially those who serve on Standards/Curriculum committees will find Deborah Thompson’s, (Head of School Improvement, London Borough of Enfield) session very useful. She will be talking about the changes in the curriculum and assessment and what governors need to know/do moving forward.
3A As governors we are expected to ask questions, hold the school to account and provide effective challenge. Shena Lewington (Governance Consultant whose website is a very rich source resources for governors) will be holding a session which will equip governors to do just this by developing questioning skills and building confidence.
3B In this session Ruth will be talking about how to structure governing bodies and committees so that they work efficiently and using best practice examples.
3C Andy Kent (NLG and Chair, National Co-ordinators of Governor Services) will be discussing the ways and methods governing bodies can use to evaluate their schools’ strengths and weaknesses and how to devise school improvement plans.
Who should attend the conference?
This conference will be useful for governors, chairs of governors, heads, principals, deputies, vice principals and clerks. In fact anyone involved in governance will be able to find something that will be interest to them. Two delegates can attend the conference for the price of one so you can come with someone from your governing body or school. Delegates will be able to download presentations after the event and they can use these materials to develop their governing bodies. If you do decide to attend, please do say hello. I would love to meet old friends and make new ones.
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For further details and information how to book, have a look at the conference website and download the flyer.
Questioning and effective challenge by Shena Lewington
Developing skilled and strategic governing bodies by Ruth Agnew
* Not to be used in conjuction with any other offer.