Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Lower school's outstanding governors claim national award

8 September 2017

Fairfield Park Lower School’s governing board has won a national award for outstanding governance.

Governors from the council-maintained school in Dickens Boulevard, Fairfield, received their prize at the National Governance Association’s Outstanding Governance Awards held at the Terrace Pavilion, in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 5 September.

Fairfield Park was one of seven shortlisted schools in the Outstanding Governance in a Single School category.

And with judges Duncan Haworth and Siddique Hussain highly impressed by the governors’ vision and ethos since the school opened in 2007, Fairfield Park was named as one of three joint winners, alongside Millennium Primary School, in Greenwich, and Sir John Barrow School, in Cumbria.

They were presented with the award by Lord Nash, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for the School System with ministerial responsibility for school governance.

The award was given to schools’ governing bodies which have improved significantly over time, successfully overcome challenging circumstances or financial difficulties, successfully led a specific change that had an impact on the school and/or contributed to improvement in the wider schools’ sector.

Praising the governing body from Fairfield Park Lower, judges said that since the school opened in 2007, "The governing board has developed a vision and ethos by working collaboratively with the local community and the local authority. The head teacher is a National Leader of Education and the chair is a National Leader of Governance.

"Since the school opened the governing board has also evolved. It has developed processes and procedures to keep informed about the school. The governors’ annual plan is a key document providing the framework and agenda for meetings."

Sue Howley MBE, who has been Chair of Governors at Fairfield Park Lower since the school opened, said: "No one becomes a governor to win plaudits and awards but we are delighted that the efforts and commitment of the governing board have been recognised. We have high expectations of our governors and have a professional approach to recruitment and training.

"It has always been our aim to provide the best possible opportunities for the families and children of our community and have lobbied hard for growth and facilities to ensure that they have a great start to school and their learning.

"We had a great afternoon at the House of Commons and Duncan Howarth said some great things about the governing board. What a fantastic endorsement of our governing board – and we also have a trophy for the cabinet and a certificate to display."

Head teacher Jenny Stone said: “Governors work with me to ensure that everything we do is outstanding. They have a clear vision and are committed to the success of the school and its children, providing me with terrific support to continue to grow the school, innovate and continually improve the learning journey for all. The board also has regard for my work-life balance by ensuring that I have dedicated management time and taking the time to discuss my well-being.”

Councillor Steven Dixon, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: "Huge congratulations to the governing board at Fairfield Park Lower for their national recognition. I am well aware of the excellent work which goes on at the school and this award is richly deserved.

"Governors play a vital role to ensure that schools maintain high standards as well as doing things like managing budgets, overseeing the curriculum and appointing staff.

"If Fairfield Park Lower’s success has inspired you to think about volunteering as a governor then please contact our Governor Support Office by calling 0300 300 8105 or 0300 300 6598, or get in touch with your local school directly."

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