News

Cardiff Governors Association - Article by Alan Evans, Chair

The Cardiff Governors Association was established some 20 years ago and over that period the CGA has been a staunch advocate on behalf of the governing bodies of Cardiff schools to the local authority, to Welsh Government, to Governors Wales and more recently to the Central South Consortium. Over this period the CGA has been a forum of debate and discussion on the discharge of responsibilities and duties of governing bodies and in promoting high quality education for the children and young people in Cardiff schools.

The responsibilities and challenges to governing bodies in Cardiff schools have increased considerably over recent years and the Welsh Government expectations of governing bodies have expanded considerably.

During the 2014/15 school year the Management Committee of the CGA reviewed these daunting demands on school governors and came to the view that the CGA needed to amend significantly its constitution in order to develop, on behalf of governing bodies, a substantial programme of activities, including seminars, workshops, conferences, as well as the production of pamphlets, papers, guidelines and discussion documents for governing bodies.

The views of the Management Committee were endorsed at the CGA AGM held on 11 March 2015 and a revised constitution was agreed. As part of the revised constitution, an enlarged Management Committee was appointed with a remit to secure a sound financial base from which to plan and sustain a high quality programme of events and activities.

The local authority had previously provided ad hoc financial grants, as well as support in kind, to the programmes and activities of the CGA but had indicated during the Autumn Term 2014 that it was no longer in a position to continue with this arrangement. With CGA becoming responsible for its own funding, a decision was made to request a subscription fee of £50 p.a. per school.

The fee of £50 per school has been maintained since 2015 and in the light of the funding available, the CGA has been in a position to expand its programme of activities beyond the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Training Conference which had been held in previous years.

The following is the programme of activities which has been organised by the CGA Management Committee during the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms 2016-17.

Training workshops

  • Strategic Approaches to Improving Literacy – Helen Bowen, Education Consultant – 22 November 2016
  • Countering Underachievement, Especially of Boys – Alan Evans, Senior Research Consultant, Cardiff University – 16 January 2017

Seminars

  • Creative Learning through the Arts – Update on Progress and Achievements – Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales – 20 March 2017
  • Strategies and Policies for Eliminating Illiteracy: Lessons Learned – Professor Tommy Mackay, Strathclyde University – 14 June 2017

Occasional Papers
The CGA has also commenced a process of commissioning and publishing Occasional Papers on educational policies, innovations and good practice which it believes will be of particular relevance to the work of school governors. The first two occasional papers published in the Spring Term of 2016/17 were:

  • Occasional Paper 1 – The importance of school support for families: parents as partners in driving student achievement by Professor Charles Desforges
  • Occasional Paper 2 – The Pupil Deprivation Grant and Early Years Deprivation Grant by Professor Chris Taylor.

In addition to the above, the Management Committee has continued to hold meetings with the Director of Education and Lifelong Learning at Cardiff Council to express the views, hopes and concerns of governors, and has also represented Cardiff governors on various Cardiff Local Authority panels, working groups and fora. The CGA has also responded to consultations as well as requests for its views from Welsh Government, the Central South Consortium and Governors Wales.