Inspiring Governance helps Endeavour Academy Trust to find skills to deliver growth plan

Julia Skinner
Endeavour Academy Trust

Currently a trust with three primary schools in north Bristol and south Gloucestershire, Endeavour Academy Trust has a vision to grow to 10 schools by 2020, and succession planning for governance will play a crucial part in delivering their strategy. Julia Skinner, trustee of Endeavour Academy Trust explains, “Our very active LGBs are key to our governance work. I know that in some MATs, LGBs have a decreased role, but in ours they are crucial to raising standards.” The importance of succession planning was brought to the fore when a governor needed to leave their role taking strong finance skills with them.

Julia says, “It’s really important to get the right skills around the table, not just people on seats. We knew we needed certain skills to cope with the growth plan within the governance team including on the board, trustees, staff and governors. Where we have governors with valuable skills, we also co-opt them to board committees.”

Learning about Inspiring Governance at an NGA regional meeting, Endeavour used the platform to find volunteers after using other services to no avail. Julia explains, “I was really pleased to have another avenue to explore with Inspiring Governance. Following the initial support from incredibly helpful regional staff, I found it to be very useful in seeing the industries volunteers work in and how the skills they list could help our schools. Once I chose volunteers based on their distance, skills and motivations it was easy to write a message then just click and wait. Our first round of recruiting was very successful, we sent messages to a list of potential governors and got quite a few replies; many responded positively through Inspiring Governance.”

Through the platform, Endeavour had further conversations with volunteers and invited them to a meeting. Three volunteers with skills including project management and HR, which will help Endeavour to deliver their growth plan, were co-opted to the Governing Board. Julia adds, “Our governors are settling in really well and are currently completing their inductions. Once they are fully trained, we will be using Inspiring Governance again in January to look for our fourth new governor.”