Dr Viv Hughes – National Leaders of Governance

Areas of Expertise:

  • Assessment
  • Mathematics
  • 4-19 All-through education
  • Distributed leadership and management
  • Staff development
  • Parent and community engagement
  • Personalised learning
  • Creative curriculum
  • Thinking Skills
  • Transition
  • Support for new and aspiring school leaders

VHughes

Barrow CEVA Primary NOR: 150

Background and Experience

For the past decade or so, I have run my own business which helps UK university academics commercialize their research work. Prior to this, I spent nearly twenty years working for a high tech., innovative design and development company on the Cambridge Science Park.

Despite not being a professional educationalist, in the last eight years as a governor and Chair of Governors, I have built up an in depth understanding of education and school governance. I was the chair when Barrow School was rated as Outstanding by both Ofsted and SIAMS (the Church Inspection). I have also led two HT appointment panels at Barrow Primary School.

Some three years ago now, I was asked by the Local Authority to become the Chair of the new Managers at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Bury St Edmunds, which had been placed into special measures by Ofsted. Two years later after a huge and sustained amount of work by all of the stakeholders, the PRU was rated as Good by Ofsted. From this work, I have a comprehensive understanding of the needs and workings of Alternative Provision, as well as personal experience of how challenging it can be to move out of special measures.

In March 2014, I was appointed a National Leader for Governance (NLG). As part of this role, I have completed my induction training and NLG External Governance Review training. I have just recently been appointed as an Additional Governor by Suffolk County Council, as part of their program to support governing bodies who find themselves in challenging circumstances.

My experience as a governance leader

Working in close partnership with Barrow School’s Headteacher and SLT, I have led a school‘s governance to Outstanding. I have developed a deep and extensive knowledge of educational issues and how governing bodies can demonstrate how they are fulfilling their three key roles of:

  • Providing clear vision, strategic leadership and direction for the school
  • Being a critical friend to challenge and support the school
  • Being held to account for school’s performance

I am passionate about building teams of empowered governors and enhancing their skills and knowledge by targeted training.

Over the years, I have delved into all aspects of education and how governors can best support their schools. I am especially interested and practiced in the analysis of school attainment and progress data including an excellent understanding of DfE published data for 4 – 19 settings. This has been very helpful as Barrow School has been working in very close partnership with the Bury All-Through Trust. I am a member of the Trust Board, so I also understand academy governance.

Each governing body is unique in its operating style and governors, so one size definitely does not fit all. I describe myself as a ‘serial magpie’ because I make a habit of collecting best practice from other schools via visits and scouring their websites, as well as offering my own approaches to maximise the impact of governing bodies. I have a very collaborative approach to sharing my knowledge and experience.

Whilst being mindful of the personalities involved, I work in a solutions focussed framework in order to optimise the impact which teams of governors can make to their school and its context. Life-long learning applies equally to governors as it does to young people, so there are always new challenges to meet and new best practices to adopt or adapt for enduring impact.

Skills and areas of strength

My key areas of expertise are:

  • Assessment
  • Mathematics
  • 4-19 All-through education
  • Distributed leadership and management
  • Staff development
  • Parent and community engagement
  • Personalised learning
  • Creative curriculum
  • Thinking Skills
  • Transition
  • Support for new and aspiring school leaders

If you feel that Viv can assist you and your school, ConnectED Teaching School Alliance would be delighted to discuss with you how she may be able to assist. Please contact the Teaching School either by telephone or email : 01284 810032 or admin@connectedtsa.org