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Now? Next? How? Governors establish next steps for Raising Aspirations, Raising Standards strategy

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 17 Jul 2023
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Governors from across Merthyr Tydfil County Borough came together on Monday 10 July to consider what has been achieved in developing governors in schools within the Raising Aspirations, Raising Standards (RARS) strategy. They were joined by officers of the local authority, the regional consortia and the National Academy of Educational Leadership, who will be taking forward the recent recommendations from the Estyn Thematic report, ‘School Governors- acting as a critical friend and the impact of governor training’.

Sue Walker, Director for Education, opened the first face to face conference by discussing the ‘golden thread’ showing how all plans across the local authority link together. Education connects to all elements of the new Corporate Plan ‘Acting Today for a Better Tomorrow.’

In the initial reflections, attendees recognised the progress made with better collaboration and engagement coming across strongly, as well as being more of aware of expectations.

The event was well attended with representation from all schools across the Borough, giving the opportunity to reflect, share practice and consider next steps. Five schools shared their unique experiences, which included preparing for Estyn Inspections, as well as how they are approaching ‘democratic accountability’ as outlined in the non-mandatory School Improvement, evaluation and accountability guidance.

A range of workshops allowed space to share ideas on vital next steps. This collaboration led to rich and informed suggestions around statutory roles and responsibilities, including suggestions around learning and development, discussing challenges they face – including time! As volunteers, they were keen to ensure this was factored into the methods used to upskill the governor population. Developing a shared understanding of what was meant by ‘democratic accountability’ also featured in discussions.

As the accountable body for schools, ensuring governing bodies are effective is a key aspect of leadership. Governors provide an important role in acting as a critical friend, supporting and challenging school leaders. Recruitment and retention, as well as key policies within education such as Welsh in Education, Literacy and Community Focused Schools were main discussion points.

The event was a resounding success, with very positive feedback about learning and development­­­.

To find out more about becoming a governor within the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough, please visit:

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