September’s here again – time to sharpen my pencils and polish my shoes because it’s back to school! We all remember the feeling, only this time I couldn’t be more excited.

I’m the Chair of Governors at Co-op Academy North Manchester where we’ve just welcomed back over 1,000 students. And after the triumphs of the last academic year, with our academy achieving a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating for the first time in its history, I’ve got high hopes.

I’ve been involved with the academy for four years, three as a Co-op Governor and the past year as chair. As you’ll see in One Co-op Digi-mag, I’ve always had an interest in education. I believe everyone has a right to learn and grow, no matter where they live. That’s why I signed up as Governor, so I could support the people and places that don’t have equal access to education.

My role as Co-op Governor has been to challenge, provide direction and support the leadership team at the academy, so we can ensure it’s on track with achieving its goals. We’re involved in everything from advising on the budget and taking part in community activities, to reviewing exam results. We’re currently looking at the great GCSE results which were achieved this August and staring to plan how we can build on these for the current year 11 group.

It feels like we’re going from strength to strength. I had two year 10 students from the academy join my team on a week-long work experience. I found it fascinating hearing their view of how it’s changed for the better. Work experience is something I’d urge all teams to get involved with, as it’s such a valuable learning opportunity for both students and colleagues. If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to contact our Programme and Partnership Adviser, Keela Walsh.

Supporting academies is a great way of doing what matters most and strengthening our communities. Reflecting on last year, I really feel that I and the other Governors have had a really positive influence on both the Academy and the students. By having one or more Co-op Governors on each governing body, we’re able to make sure Co-op values and ‘ways of being’ are lived by the academy every day.

If you’re interested in being a Co-op Governor, there’ll be more opportunities as academies join the Trust. We’re aiming to grow from 23 to 40 academies in the next three years and imminent opportunities are likely to be in Merseyside and North Staffordshire.

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Any Scottish Academies? I don’t know where to find details. Any ideas? Thanks

    • Hi – there aren’t currently any Co-op academies in Scotland. The team are currently focusing on growing the number of academies in the north of England – we’ll keep colleagues updated.

  2. I completely agree Jane, the more we are able to share thoughts/opportunities and support each other the better. Thanks for setting the Yammer Group up Hazel.

  3. Great inspiring article there! I’m also a Primary Academy Governor in North Manchester (non Co-op though) its great to hear of such inspiring stories happening in our local community. Thanks for all your hard work..
    Is your Yammer group open to Non-Co-op governors ?


  4. Owain! I found your name on the link

  5. HI, thanks for a really inspiring article – sorry, but I can’t see your name on here?! – I’m relatively new to the role of governor, in an academy that was only converted last year – so it’s still early days to feel the impact… it’s great to read how, after 4 years, you can see the impact you’ve had… it’s really inspiring me for the start of the new academic year, and what’s to come.
    I’m interested in joining a yammer group for governors -but can only see one at the moment for chair of governors, would you know if there’s a plan to set one up at all? thanks again. Jane

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