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Guest Blog: Celebrating good governance and the people behind it


Good governance is essential to a successful education system. The governing boards of trusts and schools are unsung heroes, giving their time, energy and advice in order to shape a better future for young people and the communities in which they live and grow. 

As we enter an uncertain and new phase, and the pace of change accelerates - not least for young people growing up in a very different context to that a year or two ago - education cannot be an island. Our economies, our aspirations, and our needs as a society are evolving and it is important that education draws on the wisdom and strategic direction of governing boards to respond in a timely and impactful way so that young people are equipped to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives in this new era. Never has partnership between boards and school leaders been at such a premium. 

To encourage and support good governance, it is important that we recognise it wherever possible. The Outstanding Governance Awards do just that. They ensure that we not only identify great practice that can be shared and disseminated across the system, but that a powerful message is sent to governing boards everywhere that what they do matters enormously to our society and to our communities - shaping a legacy as they do so. The last year has shown that when trusts and schools generate professional and social capital within their communities anything is possible and any challenge can be overcome. Governing boards are key to this, and epitomise how education can draw on the skills, talents and capacity of others - in partnership - to achieve the seemingly impossible. 

We've learnt much through the pandemic, and Forum Strategy's recent report on board level governance over the last year has shown that many trust boards have adapted thoughtfully and with care. They've worked hard to provide a careful balance of support and encouragement to executive leaders, played a key role in building crucial relationships with other key community organisations where necessary, and ensured that governance has remained resilient through adapting to online meetings and working. This has been a herculane effort for what are a group of volunteers balancing their own work and personal lives with the demands of ensuring good governance at a challenging time.

I strongly encourage you to consider nominating impactful governing boards and governance professionals for an Outstanding Governance Award. At Forum Strategy we are proud to sponsor these awards and to play just a small part in recognising great governance, upon which we will all depend enormously in the months and years ahead. Thank you for all that you do and continue to do for our education system. 

Governing boards and governance professionals can be nominated in one of six categories:

  • Outstanding governance in a single school
  • Outstanding governance in a multi academy trust - sponsored by Forum Strategy
  • Outstanding governance in a federation
  • Outstanding clerk to a governing board
  • Outstanding lead governance professional 
  • Outstanding vision and strategy