Castle Church of England Federation, which has two schools in Berkhamsted, was named winner in the outstanding governance in a federation category at the National Governance Association’s (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards 2021 on Thursday 9 September. The category recognises one governing board with responsibility for more than one maintained school that is delivering outstanding strategic leadership.
They were among 15 governing boards and eight governance professionals who received awards presented by Baroness Berridge (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System). The awards celebrate the best of school and trust governance in England. They aim to recognise the achievements of school governors, trustees and governance professionals for their substantial and valuable voluntary contribution to education and their impact on the lives of children and young people.
Announcing Castle Church of England Federation as category winners, judge Emma Knights, chief executive of NGA said that the board has ‘overseen a transformation for the staff and pupils in both their schools’ over the past three years. Judges were impressed by ‘the professionalism, commitment and high-quality practice’ shown by the board who ‘take bold decisions when needed to improve provision for pupils and ensure the federation’s sustainability’. One such example is the board’s focus on improving practice of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) which means that pupils with SEND now often exceed expectations on progress.
Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said: ‘The story of success demonstrated by Castle Church of England Federation underlines how governance truly contributes to the sustainability of our schools and the educational achievement and wellbeing of children and young people. The board and the whole school community showed us their passion for achieving the best for the children they serve. We are very proud to recognise their achievements.’
In a speech before presenting the awards Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System said: ‘These awards recognise both the excellent contributions that each of you are making and the importance of working together as a team. That collective endeavour ensures that children are receiving the best education possible, giving them the best start in life… You are driving relentless ambition for the young people served by our schools system, whatever the circumstances. I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to you today.’