Governing body receives ultimate recognition!
Leading state secondary school Beaconsfield High School continues to lead the way as a remarkable education establishment, with the news that its governing body has been awarded the prestigious Governor Mark.
Governor Mark is a national award and a recognised kite mark of good practice. It provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school and is an opportunity to demonstrate how a governing body strives for excellence.
The work involved in gaining the award supports ongoing board evaluation and continuous improvement, and this was a key reason why the school’s governing body, then led by Chair of Governors Sarah Kucera, decided to apply for the award.
Former Chair Sarah comments: “There is always a governor assessment as part of the school’s annual statement so reviewing effectiveness is not a new thing for any governing body. Additionally, as part of the school becoming an Academy, we completed a thorough review of our governance and completed self-evaluations. From there – alongside pushing the school’s development and improvement forward – the governing body’s next challenge was to aim for best practice. Governor Mark, which is supported by the Department for Education and is looked upon favourably by Ofsted, was just the tool to help us evidence that we achieve this best practice.
“Being a progressive and driven school that strives for more, and actively inspires its students to dare to be remarkable, of course meant that it was only right that the governing body took on its own challenge.”
Governor Mark provides evidence of governing body impact and effectiveness and highlights compliance with statutory responsibilities, to support the leadership and management judgement in Ofsted inspections. It gathers this evidence in two stages of assessment; a written application and a school visit. Over several months the governing body tackled the written application by preparing supporting documents and producing evidence to meet the criteria. In particular, the governing body’s approach to and impact on school improvement, pupil wellbeing and safety, and partnerships and community engagement were all under scrutiny, and had to be outlined and evidenced.
Mrs Kucera continues: “When we found out we had made it to the interview stage we were delighted. We’d been advised that getting that far is quite an achievement! It proved that our documentation was very effective at showing how far we have come, from a school with room for improvement to that of best practice and placing in the top section of the league tables for exam results and progress. After an extensive session with an assessor on site, for both governors and staff, we were told that we had received the Governor Mark Award – we were incredibly proud to have achieved this recognition for our school!”
Beaconsfield High School’s governing body is carefully curated to ensure a robust and flexible team. Members come from a variety of backgrounds and professions, and collaborate to develop a strategy for success. The governors are all volunteers, but continue to show commitment and dedication to the school by donating their time and expertise – and, undoubtedly, by attempting to achieve the Governor Mark, which is a huge exercise and requires engagement from all members.
The school’s recently appointed Chair of Governors Lorraine Couves explains what’s next for Governor Mark: “The award is assessed every three years, so we will be ready to take on the challenge and prove once again that we adhere to best practice. As a team we push ourselves and the strategy of the school to continue on our upward trajectory of success, and have many more progressive ideas that ultimately impact our students’ successes, happiness and, of course, their futures.”
For further information on how the school achieved the Governor Mark Award please click here.