Appeal for new governors to help Peterborough's schools

Peterborough needs its talented residents to step forward and help our schools.

Saturday, 9th June 2018, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:31 pm
Alastair Kingsley outside Hampton Gardens school EMN-180506-130138009

That is the message ahead of the city’s first governors conference where members of the public can find out if they are suited to the role, with many vacancies needing filling.

Peterborough has struggled in education tables, and governors are crucial to making sure schools are performing well according to Alastair Kingsley, chair of the Peterborough Governor Forum and Hampton Academies Trust, which currently runs three city schools.

He said: “It’s a chance for the people of Peterborough to roll their sleeves up and get involved.

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“We are trying to raise school improvement, and governors act as a critical friend.

“We are there to support leadership and ask the right questions, dialling down on what the school is doing and trying to raise standards and attainment.”

Mr Kingsley, who has spent 25 years bringing new technology into schools, is helping to run the conference which is being held for both governors and people considering becoming a governor at Hampton Gardens Secondary School, Hartland Avenue, on Saturday, June 16 from 9.30am to 12.30am.

He believes it is “critical” to have strong governance for school improvement and for schools to receive top reports from Ofsted.

Mr Kingsley said a typical new governor will only have to give up four or five nights a term, adding: “A lot of people are scared and think ‘I would like to be a governor, but do I have the time?’

“A lot of companies have encouraged their middle leaders to become governors because you acquire extra skills. What we want is to encourage people with professional skills, or an interest in education, to come to the meeting and find out more. There’s no need to have a link to a school in any shape or form.”

People with skills in areas such as finance, HR, IT, project management, employment and marketing would be particularly useful as governors, Mr Kingsley said.

Speakers at the conference are: Paul Brooker from Ofsted, director of education for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Jonathan Lewis, Mr Kingsley and Duncan Low, assistant headteacher at Arthur Mellows Village College and director of Teach East.