Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHC&AT) exists to support, enable, and champion the talents, skills and rights of the most complex and vulnerable people in our society in order that we can release their potential, promote their well-being and transform their lives.

As an organisation, we adhere to the seven principles of public life to drive our behaviours and provide a framework for our actions. These are leadership, openness, objectivity, selflessness, honesty, integrity and accountability.

Within this framework, we have defined our own set of core values and behaviours:

  • Confident
  • Respectful
  • Equitable
  • Advocacy
  • Team Working
  • Enabling  

As a community of learners, families, and colleagues our ethos is that by working collaboratively, with energy and ambition we can always effect positive change. At the core of our ethos is the conviction that there should be no limit placed on what is possible and that everyone has the ability to be the very best they can be.

As a Trust we value the skills and expertise that our governors bring to the table. They keep us informed about on-the-ground developments and help us to continually improve as an organisation.

Jay Mercer, Chair of Trustees, Orchard Hill College Academy Trust

Responsibilities of Local Governors
  • Ensure implementation of the strategic vision of OHC&AT.
  • Support the OHC&AT Board in establishing and sustaining strong connections within the Academy/College community.
  • Foster transparent and regular communication as needed, ensuring that the Academy/College fulfils its obligations to the community and its requirements concerning safeguarding and the education of all pupils.
  • Support and challenge the Academy/College senior leadership team in implementing the agreed development plan and policies.
  • Review and agree specific local policies.
  • Provide advice and feedback to the Trustees as sought.
  • Undertake any appropriate stakeholder consultation.
  • Provide a point of contact for parents, carers and other members of the local community.
  • Maintain effective links with the local community.
Job Description of Local Governors
  • A heartfelt commitment to creating an educational future where every individual, regardless of their abilities, is celebrated and included. 
  • Work as a team, collaborating with energy and ambition.
  • Attend meetings and be prepared to contribute to discussions and commit to agreed actions.
  • Be respectful of the views of others and to be open to new ideas and thoughts.
  • Treat all Local Governing Body (LGB) business information confidentially.
  • Act with integrity, avoid any personal conflicts of interest and comply with OHC&AT’s policies.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the vision and ethos of OHC&AT and the roles played by all individuals in fulfilment of OHC&AT’s mission.
  • Understand OHC&AT’s policies and procedures and how these are implemented in the Academy/College.
  • Act as an OHC&AT ambassador.
  • Commit to training and skills development.
  • Be focused on problem solving and be ready to learn from past experiences.
  • Act in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation and any other authority delegated.
  • Adhere to the Governance Code of Conduct.
  • Live the values of OHC&AT in communication and action.
Benefits of being a Local Governor at OHC&AT
  • A rewarding experience.
  • Leadership development.
  • Improve the lives of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
  • Make a difference in the OHC&AT communities.
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of all aspects of SEND.
  • Develop your personal and professional skills including: teamwork, negotiation, problem-solving, business awareness, decision making, and influencing.
  • Valuable addition to your CV and employability.
  • Meet people who care hugely about the future of children and the area in which they live.
  • Places you at the heart of Academies/Colleges giving you a better perspective of the education landscape, as you work alongside fellow local governors and staff to improve outcomes for pupils and students.
  • Training and development.
Expectations of being a Local Governor

To carry out your responsibilities, all our local governors:

  • Take on a role in line with your skills, knowledge, and interest based on the needs within the LGB.
  • Attend all meetings in the evening and during the day as required.
  • Be fully prepared for all meetings, having read all the supporting documentation and ready to ask appropriate, challenging questions.
  • Visit the Academy/College during the working day, at least once a term, to find out more about the provision and OHC&AT, linking your visit to the development plan priorities within your remit and triangulating information received from the LGB meetings.
  • Attend portfolio holder forum meetings, if you are a portfolio holder local governor that has been determined by OHC&AT.
  • Report back to the LGB on what is going well, and where additional support might be helpful, using the governance visit feedback form.
  • Respond when communicated with and return all requested information promptly.
  • Attend the annual OHC&AT Governance conference.
  • Attend a minimum of one training and development session termly to (a) meet your personal development needs and (b) to meet the needs of the LGB.
  • Be a reflective local governor, who monitors and reviews their own performance on a regular basis.

Carrying out these duties will usually take approximately 8-10 hours per month.

 

Being a governor is a truly rewarding role, you share your knowledge and expertise, meet other governors with the same sense of social responsibility and passion to advocate and make a difference.

Peter Lauener, Chair of Trustees, Orchard Hill College

Testimonials

Sophia Madden Profile Photo e1694714526198 Sophia, Nightingale Community Academy

“I left school without any qualifications before the age of 16. My step mum would often tell me, ‘Education is your passport to life’ and it didn’t take long for me to realise how true it was. I then made the decision to go to college to finish my education, before going on to university and I am grateful for these educational opportunities, which is the main reason why I decided to apply to become a parent governor.

The role enables me to give back to the community as it’s voluntary work and it’s also incredibly rewarding. I would definitely recommend the role if you’re thinking about becoming a governor, and I would advise you to apply if you have spare time and are interested in educational outcomes for children and young people.”

Governor7

Liam, Unified Academy

“I had wanted to get involved in school governance for a while but could not commit the time needed.  When the opportunity arose to get involved, I took it and have not looked back.

I was identified as having skills (e.g. Finance, Audit, Stakeholder Management) that would be useful to a variety of schools, and this led to my continuing involvement with primary, secondary, and SEND schools.

Like most things in life the more you put in the greater the reward. In this case it is the knowledge you are supporting and challenging a school to provide the opportunities for pupils to succeed.”

 

Pardeep

Pardeep, The PRIDE Academy and The Skills
Hub

“I started by volunteering with schools in West London via Inspiring the Future, providing insights into my career and supporting young people with CV writing or mock interviews. Over time I felt I could give more by using my leadership skills as a Governor.

The young people of today will lead the future, and we should show the way with actions. Investing some personal time with two special schools – The Pride Academy and The Skills Hub has been a privilege.

Bringing diversity of thought to help the strategy of schools, especially young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who often have less access to positive role models is very rewarding. I would encourage you to volunteer!”

Peter Truesdale Peter, former Chair of
Governors at Nightingale Community Academy

“I have enjoyed being a governor at Nightingale Community Academy and other schools. I think it is an immense privilege to be a school governor. It gives the opportunity to bring skills and insights acquired in outside life and use them to enrich the school.

It is vital that as broad a range of people, skills and experiences are represented on governing bodies. Everyone has something unique that they can bring.

It is not all giving by the governor, seeing the great things that are happening in schools is cheering and inspiring.”

Current vacancies

Orchard Hill College

Orchard Hill College

Orchard Hill College is currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
-Apprenticeship/Work-based Learning Knowledge
-Chairing/Leadership

Addington Valley Academy

Addington Valley Academy, Croydon

Addington Valley Academy is currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Safeguarding
- Quality and Standards (Education)
- HR & Organisational Development
- Chairing/Leadership

arbour vale logo

Arbour Vale School

Arbour Vale School are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Safeguarding
- Quality and Standards (Education)
- HR & Organisational Development
- Chairing/Leadership

Bedelsford

Bedelsford School

Bedelsford School are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Safeguarding
- Quality and Standards (Education)
- HR & Organisational Development
- Chairing/Leadership

Carew

Carew Academy

Carew Academy is currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Quality and Standards (Education)
- IT

Dysart

Dysart School, Surbiton

Dysart School is currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience
- Safeguarding
- IT
- Health & Safety
- Chairing/Leadership

Link Logoasdfgh

The Link School, Sutton

The Link School is currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience
- Safeguarding
- Estates
- IT
- Health & Safety
- Chairing/Leadership

Nightingale

Nightingale Community Academy, Wandsworth

Nightingale Community Academy are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience
- HR and Organisational Development
- Chairing/Leadership
- IT
- Health & Safety

St Philips

St Philip's School, Chessington

St Philip's School is currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Estates
- IT
- Health & Safety

PRIDE Logo

The PRIDE Academy, West Drayton

The PRIDE Academy has a joint Local Governing Body with The Skills Hub.
They are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Estates
- IT
- Health & Safety
- Community Engagement and Marketing
- Chairing/Leadership

SAS Hub

SAS Hub

The Surrey and Sussex Hub incorporates Brantridge School, Grafham Grange School and St Dominic's School. The Local Governing Body are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Estates
- IT
- Health & Safety
- Community Engagement and Marketing
- Chairing/Leadership
- HR & Organisational Development
- Safeguarding
- Quality & Standards (Education)

Skills hub

The Skills Hub, West Drayton

The Skills Hub has a joint Local Governing Body with The PRIDE Academy.
They are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Estates
- IT
- Health & Safety
- Community Engagement and Marketing
- Chairing/Leadership

Unified Academy FINAL

Unified Academy, Dorking

Unified Academy are currently looking for local governors with the following skills and experience:
- Community Engagement & Marketing
- Chairing/Leadership

Expression of Interest Form

Local Governor Expression of Interest

Name(Required)
Up to approx 500 words including what experience/ skills you could bring to the role
Accepted file types: pdf, doc, Max. file size: 10 MB.
Geographical Region(Required)

Or email Governance@ohcat.org

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I want to be a Local Governor at OHC&AT?

OHC&AT exists to support, enable, and champion the talents, skills and rights of the most complex and vulnerable people in our society in order that we can release their potential, promote their wellbeing and transform their lives.

If you have a genuine interest for the well-being and education of pupils and students with diverse learning needs being, an OHC&AT local governor is the role for you.

Being an OHC&AT local governor is a rewarding and impactful experience. Here are some reasons our local governors play such a vital role in our Academies/College:

Inclusivity Advocacy: Our local governors ensure that our Academies/College are inclusive and cater to the diverse needs of all of our pupils and students.

Understanding and Addressing Challenges: Our local governors contribute to developing policies and strategies that specifically address the challenges faced by our pupils and students. This might include ensuring appropriate resources, support staff, and facilities are in place to accommodate diverse learning needs.

Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing: Our pupils and students sometimes face additional challenges related to mental health. Our local governors contribute to policies and practices that promote positive mental health and well-being, creating a supportive environment for all.

Collaboration with Stakeholders: Collaboration with parents, staff, and other stakeholders is vital. Local governors aim to foster strong relationships between the Academy/College and the local community to maximise opportunities for our pupils and students.

Celebrating Diversity and Achievements: Our local governors actively promote a culture of celebrating diversity and recognising the achievements and successes of our pupils and students.

By taking on this role you:

  • Commit to attending meetings of the local governing body and any committees/forums to which you are appointed.
  • Aspire to ensure every pupil and student benefits from exceptional provision that effects life changing outcomes.
  • Will share skills and expertise within OHC&AT.
Do I have to have a background in education? 

No, you don’t. It is useful to be aware of current education issues and have an interest in education. To help you understand education and the local governor role OHC&AT provides training to support you in your development and effectiveness as a local governor. Additionally, the experienced and knowledgeable governance team is here to help.

What checks will I need?

All local governors must complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before starting. A section S128 check (A direction from the Secretary of State prohibiting unsuitable individuals from participating in the management of a School/Academy) will also be required, along with a Right to Work in the UK check. In addition, we will require two references.

Is there any kind of payment?

Governance is a voluntary role and therefore it is not paid. OHC&AT does have a Trustees and Local Governors Expenses Policy as OHC&AT considers that paying Trustee and local governor expenses is important to ensuring all members of the community are afforded equal opportunity to serve as a Trustee or local governor.

What is the eligibility criteria to be a local governor?

The following criteria must be met to serve as a local governor. You:

  • are aged 18 or over.
  • are not the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order, an interim bankruptcy restriction order, a debt relief restriction order or an interim debt relief restriction order.
  • have not had your estate sequestrated and the sequestration order has not been discharged, annulled or reduced.
  • have not been declared bankrupt, and your estate has not been seized from your possession for the benefit of any creditors and the declaration or seizure has been discharged, annulled or reduced.
  • are not subject to a disqualification order or a disqualification undertaking under either the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 or the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, or a disqualification order under the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 2002.
  • are not subject to an order made under section 429(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (failure to pay under county court administration order).
  • have not been removed from the office of trustee for a charity: by an order made by the Charity Commission or Commissioners or High Court on grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity, for which you were responsible or to which you were privy, or to which your conduct contributed to or facilitated; or under Section 34 of the Charities and Trustees Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 from being concerned in the management or control of any body.
  • have not been removed from office as an elected governor within the last five years.
  • are not disqualified from acting as a local governor/Trustee and have not been convicted of any offence which falls under section 178 of the Charities Act 2011, or any re-enactment or modification of that provision, or by any provision in the Companies Act 2006.
  • are not included in the list of people considered by the Secretary of State as unsuitable to work with children or young people.
  • have not been found to be unsuitable by the Secretary of State under the provisions of the funding agreement.
  • have not been subject to a direction of the Secretary of State under section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008.
  • are not barred from any regulated activity relating to children.
  • have not been disqualified from working with children or from registration for childminding or providing day care.
  • are not disqualified from being an independent school proprietor, teacher or employee by the Secretary of State.
  • have not been convicted of any criminal offence, excluding any that have been spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (and as amended) and excluding any offence for which the maximum sentence is a fine or a lesser sentence.
  • have not received a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) in the UK or elsewhere, for a period greater than three months (without the option of a fine) in the five years ending with the date preceding the date of appointment as a local governor or since becoming a local governor. *
  • have not received a prison sentence of 2.5 years or more in the 20 years ending with the date preceding the date of appointment as a local governor. *
  • have not at any time received a prison sentence of five years or more. *
  • have not been convicted and / or fined for causing a nuisance or disturbance on school or educational premises during the five years ending with the date immediately preceding appointment or since appointment as a local governor.
  • understand that you will be disqualified from holding or continuing to hold office if you do not make an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for an enhanced disclosure level DBS certificate, through OHC&AT, and you do not show the original to the Governance Manager.
  • understand that if in the opinion of either the Chair of OHC&AT or the CEO the DBS certificate discloses any information which indicates any unsuitability to work with children and young people, you will be disqualified.

*any conviction by or before a court outside the UK, of an offence which under UK law would not have constituted an offence will be disregarded.

How long is the term of office?

You will be appointed for 3 years. 

How many LGB meetings are there?

This varies from LGB to LGB and ranges from 4 to 8 meetings per academic year. Meeting dates are agreed at the beginning of the academic year. 

At what time of the day are meetings held?

This can vary depending on the LGB; however, most start between 3.30pm and 6.30pm and usually last for 2 hours.

What is the next step?

Please complete the ‘Expression of Interest’ form outlining why you would like to be an OHC&AT local governor, the skills and experiences you will bring and your location preference. Upon receipt, one of the governance team will be in contact to discuss further. We look forward to hearing from you.