Monday, 15 November 2010

NGA Conference AGM

Two weeks ago the National Governors Association held it's AGM & National conference in London.

Unfortunately I could not attend due to family commitments although 170 NGA members did.

Personally I think it is a shame only 170 members attended from a supposed 300,000 School Governors in England. I don't know how many School Governors are NGA members but I would expect more 170 attendees.

Clare Collins, Chair of NGA, opened the conference. The Chair regretted that the Secretary of State had been unable to attend. His original undertaking to speak had been contingent upon his availability at the time. Mr Gove had had to be elsewhere, travelling, and in his stead the keynote address was given by Lord Hill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, whose remit included school governance.

Lord Hill paid tribute to Baroness Howe, NGA’s President, as a champion of governors in the House of Lords, calling her ‘tenacious’ in her pursuit of issues. Governors were the unsung
heroes and heroines of the system and he thanked all for their tireless work in driving up standards and helping all children and young people to achieve their potential. There was no better example of volunteering than school governance and it needed more visibility.

He wanted to make it easier for people to become governors and make a contribution.

I will be blogging about Lord Hill's speech later this week.

Emma Knights CEO of the NGA thanked Lord Hill for his words of thanks to governors. Although ministers have always said this, Lord Hill had gone further by saying that ‘Governing bodies were the most important decision making people in schools’.

Sam Ellis and Malcolm Trobe from ASCL, spoke on finding the match between curriculum and budget. (The slides used in this presentation are available on the NGA website here

There was also a presentation from Professor Chris James, University of Bath, who used the conference for the launch of his new research, The Hidden Givers, a study of school governing bodies in England. I will be blogging a full article on his research project tomorrow.

The conference was addressed by Judy Hargadon, Chief Executive of The School Food Trust, on the topic of School Food – Value for Money?

(The slides used in this presentation are available on the NGA website here

The final part of the conference was a panel session on the lines of Westminster Forum debates (i.e. panel members make very short presentations on the chosen topic and them as a group take questions.) The panel consisted of: Stephen Kingdom (DfE), Paul Bennett (National College), William Simmonds (NASBM), Sandun Dambawinna (Randstad Education) and Angela Hands (National Audit Office).

Clare Collins then closed the conference and the NGA AGM began Draft minutes of the AGM are available separately here

The full Conference & AGM Report can be found here

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