Oxford Diocesan Board of Education seeks new Foundation Governors for Schools to help redress a 33% vacancy rate across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes
The Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (ODBE) is seeking people with a variety of skills to become foundation governors in church schools across the diocese, with a particular focus on schools in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. Currently there are 283 Church of England schools and academies across the diocese, with approximately 60,000 pupils. These are some of the best schools in the UK, with 95% of them judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. However, these schools are facing a shortfall in terms of governors, with a 24% vacancy rate of ODBE appointed Governors across the diocese which translates to a 33% vacancy rate in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, spread across approximately 45 schools.
Governance is a crucial part of the leadership of schools; a strong governing board supports and challenges in a way which enables the whole school community to thrive. Governors set the strategic goals which ensure the school’s Christian vision is lived out. Foundation governors, along with the whole board help to maintain and develop the Christian ethos and principles on which these schools were founded.
Frances Bartlett, Deputy Director, Oxford Diocesan Board of Education, says,
“Church of England schools across the diocese offer a safe, supportive and nurturing learning environment for those of all faiths and none, and we cannot thank our staff, children and young people enough for the way they have met the challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic with resilience and dynamism.
“As we look forward with hope and begin planning for the new ‘normal’, now, more than ever we need the support of strong governing boards, made up of a diverse cross section of our communities, to help guide and support our schools towards academic and pastoral excellence.”
Dr Sarah Dunstan, continues,
“I have been a Governor at St Peter’s Burnham since 2014 and became a Foundation Governor in 2018 and have found the opportunity to make a difference in my community humbling. Whilst the role can be challenging at times, I have been offered support throughout my tenure. Having the opportunity to use my knowledge and skills, especially over the last year, in a constructive, positive way has really allowed me to feel like I was playing my part in supporting my community and young people in these unprecedented times.”
ODBE welcome applicants from all sections of society and are keen to point out that those interested in becoming a foundation governor do not need to have prior experience in education. They will bring a range of relevant and current skills, and a desire to help and make a difference in their local community. The role, although remote currently, involves attending meetings of the governing body, visiting the school and providing support and challenge. Training is provided from both the Local Authority/MAT and ODBE.