Kyra Journal January 2018; Governance Training & Support

What’s currently happening in Lincolnshire?

Andy Chisholm is the director of Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance and leads the governance strand of Lincolnshire Teaching Schools Together. He is currently playing a central role in mobilising the improvement of governance throughout Lincolnshire through the ‘Strengthening Governance Programme’. Andy tells us:

“I noticed a momentum growing for governors to actively improve their skills set. In response, we commissioned the design, development and implementation of training sessions and CPD on governance, which were NGA endorsed. At that time, there were also other providers in Lincolnshire offering their own support and CPD for governance, including Lincolnshire County Council and the Diocese of Lincoln. It made sense to collaborate our efforts, and also involve National Leaders of Governance. At the same as this development, a collaborative approach between all parties was undertaken to identify, recruit and train a cadre of new Local Leaders of Governance from across county to support further schools.

We got together on several occasions to explore what, together, we could offer in terms of governance training. It was a complicated process, which involved give and take on all sides, but ultimately, we all had the same goal, which was to improve the quality and effectiveness of governance throughout the county in order to do our bit to help to secure excellent standards in Lincolnshire schools. With that goal in mind, we worked together, and also closely with the National Governance Association (NGA), to finally establish a comprehensive governor training package to support the improvement of governance across Lincolnshire.

The programme we have put together for governor CPD, training and support provides governing bodies with the tools and techniques to strengthen governance and to meet the high expectations of governance as currently outlined by Ofsted. We look at the key aspects of strong governance, and provide sessions to help governors and trustees gain up to date knowledge and understanding of exactly the things that a governing body needs to be doing to ensure effective governance. We provide training sessions aimed at entire governing bodies, as well as support training for Chair’s and Clerks to assist schools with succession planning. Additionally, Lincolnshire County Council deliver Governor Partnership meetings three times a year, in the autumn, spring and summer terms, designed to provide key strategic updates on standards, national and regional agenda, Lincolnshire Learning Partnership updates and access to support and provision within the county. The partnership meetings offer a fantastic opportunity for collaborative development, and all governors and trustees from across the county are welcome to attend these meetings at no cost.

Other ways in which we are supporting governing bodies include through consultancy, offering bespoke support to schools on a wide-variety of issues, and also through external reviews of governance which help governing bodies identify priorities for improvement, and provide support on which steps to take.

Feedback has been really positive so far on the valuable difference this programme of governance support is making throughout Lincolnshire and how it is meeting the needs of the schools who have utilised the support on offer so far. Over time we hope to build upon the support we are offering even further, including providing training for Chairs and Clerks, and the future of the programme’s development is looking very exciting indeed.”

For more information on the Strengthening Governance Programme visit: www.lincolnshiretsa.co.uk