I’ve been a governor at Trinity Academy in Halifax since 2010, when my daughter Josephine was a student at the school. I wanted to get more involved in the day-to-day running of the school so I applied to be a governor. It’s been an eye opening and fantastic journey.
The school has 1,800 students and the board of governors are responsible for overseeing the school’s senior leadership and holding them to account. This might include safeguarding students, overseeing the educational outcomes, ensuring financial accountability and acting as a board of appeal.
My role includes getting involved with the facts and figures behind running the school, but the best bit is watching the students receive their GCSE and A Level results. Their faces when they open the envelopes keeps me going, especially when you’ve seen them evolve from shy Year 7 students to confident young adults.
Some of the projects I’ve been involved in have had really positive results. 49% of the students are on free school meals and many are from areas that sit in the top 10% of deprived areas in the country, yet it’s still in the top 5% of schools in the country. I feel very passionately that if a school has the right ethos then its students can achieve as much as anyone. Trinity Academy is a real example of that.
I’ve seen the school improve massively in the eight years I’ve been part of the governing body. It’s been brilliant to see the students’ post-school journey change. We regularly have pupils going into Russell Group universities now, something we never saw in the past.
Performing arts is an area that I feel particularly strongly about. It gives students the opportunity to develop self-confidence, which I believe could easily go un-nurtured if they didn’t have access to subjects such as music, drama and art. The school has put on musicals such as ‘We Will Rock You’ and talent shows with all types of performers; it’s a fantastic thing to see everyone get involved.
Trinity Academy is part of the Trinity Multi-Academy Trust, which now includes Sowerby Bridge High School. I have recently been appointed governor of that school too and I very much see myself staying in this role across both schools, continuously improving what we do.
Aside from the work I do as technical manager at John Winter, I relish the work I do as a school governor – I feel I’m really making a difference in the education of young people; it’s one of my main driving factors.