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Vice Chair of Governors & Chair of Finance, Human Resources and Audit Committee
My "governor journey" started when my twin daughters joined Estover Community College (ECC) way back in 1998. I wanted to be there to support them indirectly in the best way I could during their time at school, so I thought what better way to do this than to be on the inside as a then Parent Governor, learning the role of governor so we could all progress together!
It was quite a steep learning curve to start with, but what with bringing my personal skills and attributes to the governing team I soon fitted in to enable me to start to effectively contribute, not only to the school, but to my daughters too!
Having originally been a governor with the old ECC, it was a natural transition to move "into" the new Tor Bridge High (TBH) when building was completed. I cannot say how exciting it was to see the new buildings rise from the foundations laid by the "old school" – only a wordsmith such as Shakespeare could describe that feeling!
TBH has such a buzz about it now, from the students to staff to governors, all with a common goal, to provide the best possible start in life to provide high quality education to young people entrusted to TBH.
I’m very proud to "fly the flag" for TBH as a governor as we move onward and upward as a school. From the youngest to the oldest student who attend TBH, I want to ensure that we as governors maximise opportunities for young people.
Chair of Achievement and Curriculum Committee
Vice Chair of Tor Bridge Governors – Safeguarding & Whistleblowing
Kelly, my daughter fell in love with Estover (now Tor Bridge High) when we visited it to try to decide which school would be best for her. She loved the energy, the care, the encouragement for the arts, the ethos that everyone has potential and that potential needs to be found and developed. Kelly was delighted when she was able to come to Estover and remained so throughout her time here. She derived so much from it that I wanted to give something to the school, almost by way of saying thank you and also to support the ideals of the school which are ones that I share. I joined ECCA (as it was then), the parents’ fund raising body and was very active in that for many years. I became a Governor as I felt I might be able to offer something to the role of being a critical friend. I have loved being part of the visioning team for what is now Tor Bridge. It is such an exciting opportunity; an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of individuals and to the community as a whole. It is a real privilege to be part of the School Team and see our "can do" culture flourish and grow.
I have a vested interest in the future of TBH, my eldest daughter attends and my youngest will hopefully start Sep 21, in addition my wife Joanne is employed by the school as the Senior Librarian. I currently work in the Public Sector as a Project, Programme and Portfolio manager, prior to this I was a Royal Marine regular now a reservist so retain my links with Plymouths Armed Forces community. These roles provide numerous transferable skills for the challenges and opportunities that come with the role of governor, which I will utilise for the benefit of the school, parents, staff and most importantly the children on their journey through Secondary education.
Become a Trustee for Tor Bridge High Academy Trust!
Volunteering as a trustee (school governor) is a challenging but rewarding role that offers the opportunity to make a difference for children and young people in your community.
About the role
Governors - those who govern are responsible for:
In practice, this means looking at information and evidence in order to have conversations and ask school leaders questions about the school. You will help decide how the school's budget is spent. In certain circumstances, you will also make decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary matters.
To fulfil the role you will need to:
There are no specific qualifications or requirements for the role – take a quick look at the YouTube video below that has been produced by the National Governance Association (NGA)
Everyone on Board Campaign: Increasing diversity in school governance.
All ethnic minorities remain significantly and consistently underrepresented at a national level on governing boards. According to NGA's annual governance survey 2021, 93% of respondents to the survey are white, 1% are from mixed or multiple ethnic groups, 3% are Asian, 1% are Black with the reminder other or ‘rather not say’. This compares to a pupil population where 73% of school pupils are white, 6% Black, 12% Asian, 6% mixed or multiple groups and 2% another ethnic minority, according to the annual school governance survey 2021.
By age, 9% of governance volunteers are aged under 40, including 1% aged under 30. Around three in four volunteers are aged between 40 and 70. There are more volunteers aged over 80 than under 30.
There are however positive signs that with new volunteers, the diversity of boards is improving. Of those volunteers that have joined their board within the past year, 88% are white, 3% from mixed groups, 5% are Asian, and 3% are Black. Of those volunteers that have joined their board within the past year, 31% are aged under 40.
To address this historic underrepresentation, and to improve outcomes for all pupils, the Everyone on Board campaign aims to increase the participation of people from ethnic minorities and young people in school governance.
About our School
Our vision is that Tor Bridge High is the school of choice, providing a springboard to a fulfilling, independent future for all our students. We deliver a wide and balanced learning experience and opportunities to progress academically, emotionally and socially. We enable students to become the best they can be.
Our well established and embedded arts ethos encourages our students to be creative and, on an individual level, to be ambitious for themselves. This, added to a highly personalised curriculum with breadth, balance and depth, ensures academic challenge and excellence for each individual to attain the qualifications they need to be successful beyond school. We aim to equip all students to be able to engage in the debates and conversations of their time, preparing them for the challenges of our local, national and international society. All students, including those with limited exposure to different religions, cultures and travel outside of the immediate area, will have a curriculum that facilitates opportunities to expand their horizons and broaden their experience, overtly in creativity and the arts.
A sound preparation for life and work is key and at all levels Tor Bridge High students are encouraged to have high aspirations for their further or higher education and careers.
We are a highly supportive and inclusive school. Our “small school” structure ensures all our students are really well known as individuals. We create a vibrant and all-embracing culture where students are valued, nurtured and protected. We promote good behaviour through conduct, self-discipline and respect, developing enthusiasm to ensure all aspects of learning, creativity and drive for academic success are achieved. We work closely with parents, so that together in true partnership everything possible is in place to secure your child’s happiness and success at school.
Tor Bridge High in Plymouth, rated Good in all aspects by Ofsted in November 2021, was described as a school where “Teachers’ high expectations of pupils means that work is well presented and completed to a high standard”, that “The school prides itself on learning free from disruption...pupils enjoy school and say that they feel safe” and “Staff and pupils have strong relationships”. As well as this endorsement Tor Bridge High has been oversubscribed consistently for many years.
Trustees are volunteers who want to make a positive contribution to children's education. They don't need to be education experts or have formal qualifications.
If you're interested in applying to become a trustee please contact our Governance Professional; Lynn Trotter on 01752 207872 or email@example.com