Case Studies

Do you have what it takes to be a Harris Federation Governor?

What is the Harris Federation?

The Harris Federation runs 41 primary and secondary academies in and around London.

We were recognised as a ‘top performer’ in primary and secondary education in the Department for Education’s first set of performance tables comparing academy trusts in England.  Three consecutive research reports by the Sutton Trust, a social mobility think tank, have highlighted that the Harris Federation is among ‘the best academy chains (for) having a transformational impact on pupils’ life chances.’  And data experts Watchsted rank us first out of 26 sponsors for improving Ofsted outcomes in schools. 

Every Harris academy inspected by Ofsted has been rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ with our governance regularly singled out for praise by inspectors.

Harris Federation Governors play a key role in the success of our academies. We’re keen to hear from people who would like to volunteer to help shape and guide our schools and contribute towards our vision of giving children in and around London happy and successful education.

What do governors do?

The National Governors’ Association (NGA) describes being a school governor as “a thinking and questioning role, not a doing role”. That means you won’t be involved directly with the day-to-day work of the school but will help to guide its strategy through governing body meetings. The sorts of things you can expect to do include:

Looking at data to monitor school performance and holding senior leaders to account; Making sure the Harris Federation and school leadership are providing school staff with the resources and training they need to do their job well; Sitting on panels to offer your support and challenge if, for example, the school is interviewing candidates for key leadership roles or if the school is hearing an appeal about pupil exclusion.

How much of my time will being a governor take up?

You can expect to be involved with governing duties involving four to five meetings a year plus three school visits. The meetings are often, but not always, in the evenings.  

What qualifications do I need to become a governor?

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience – but you do need to be willing and able to dedicate some time to the role and be a good team player. Governors come from a wide range of backgrounds – they could be parents, staff or members of the local community, among many other types of people.

What training do governors get with Harris?

Our outstanding Harris Teaching School provides a Governor Training Programme. This ensures you are trained and equipped to perform your role as a Governor.

We have expert trainers to help you with topics including understanding school budgets, curriculum, safeguarding, Ofsted, codes of practice, special educational needs (SEN) and the importance of effective data in assessment and evaluation. This means you can be sure you’re up to date with national changes in education and know what’s required to support academies in raising standards.

If you are interested in becoming a governor for any Harris academy, click here.

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