Headteacher Update Podcast: Getting school governance right

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

This episode considers what outstanding governance looks like in the primary school and offers tips and ideas for how headteachers can build professional relationships and work effectively with their governors – and vice-versa!

This episode looks at how to be a great school governor. We discuss tenets of great governance practice and ask the question: “What does outstanding governance look like?” We consider how governors can contribute to pupil outcomes and school vision and ethos; what a healthy working relationship between governors and school leaders looks like; and how headteachers can work to foster these strong, professional relationships.

We discuss governor training, CPD and accountability and offer tips for governors on how to work well with headteachers. We advise headteachers new in-post how they might begin to build working relationships with their governors, including questions to ask during your first meeting. We also advise governors on how to build relationships with new headteachers.

Other themes include governor time and workload, how headteachers can handle “difficult” governors, what we can do when the governor-headteacher relationship breaks down, and what lessons Covid has taught us about good governance.

As ever, our host is semi-retired primary headteacher and National Leader of Education Helen Frostick and our guests are:

  • Penny Rabiger was a teacher for over a decade and later became one of the founder directors of The Key. Penny is a long-serving school governor and a MAT trustee. She is an associate at Leeds Beckett University, a coach on the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality’s Anti-Racist School Award and is a phd researcher exploring unlearning racism in a school context.
  • Steve Docking is the CEO of the North West Academies Trust, a MAT made up of nine primary schools and one secondary school across Cheshire and Shropshire. Steve has more than 20 years of leadership experience across six schools. He is also a governor at an independent all-through school.
  • Yinka Ewuola is the former chair of governors of Cobourg Primary School in south London and is currently co-vice chair at Goodrich School. Yinka is approaching a decade as a sitting governor in her local community.

You can listen to this episode of the Headteacher Update Podcast above. To hear other Headteacher Update podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'The Headteacher Update Podcast' in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit www.headteacher-update.com/knowledge-bank/podcasts/

For details about The Headteacher Update Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at pete.henshaw@markallengroup.com

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Headteacher Update is a magazine, website, podcast and regular ebulletin dedicated to the primary school leadership team. We tackle a wide range of leadership issues, offering best practice, case studies and in-depth information, advice and guidance. Headteacher Update magazine is distributed free to approximately 20,000 primary school headteachers.

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