Hello. I’m Lorna Vickery, Chair of Trustees at Amery Hill School. I’m proud to be one of the school’s trustees helping shape and guide the strategic direction of the school and ensuring the voices of students, staff, parents and the local community are heard.
Good governance is important to the success of any organisation in fulfilling its purpose, and in the case of schools also ensuring that public money is being spent well. The Trustees of Amery Hill come from different backgrounds including engineering, banking, retail and project management, as well as the civil service and education. We adhere to the Nolan principles for standards in public life and strive to use our skills and experience to make a positive and effective contribution to the school; working with the fantastic team at Amery Hill to ensure our students reach their full potential.
If you would like to raise any questions to the Trustees Board, or view the minutes of the FTB meetings, please contact us on the email below.
Members and Trustees of Amery Hill
The Trustee Board has four core functions:
- To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- To hold the school leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its students, and the performance management of staff
- To oversee the financial performance of the Academy and make sure that public money is well spent
- To ensure the voices of stakeholders (students, staff, parents and the wider community) are heard
The work of the trustees is conducted by specific committees:
- Resources Committee, which discusses and agrees the school budget, and covers estates, human resources and health and safety
- Standards Committee which monitors and analyses all information relating to student outcomes, together with staff and student wellbeing and pastoral care
- Pay Committee
- Risk and Audit Committee, with oversight of performance management and the risk register
The Full Trustee Board also works together to consider and agree funding for new projects that deliver great benefits for the school community, enhancing our environment and facilities and improving outcomes for all our students. We approved funding for the new dining hall, the recent IT upgrade and are also engaged in planning and supporting many new projects and developments across the school.
Amery Hill Academy Trust
Amery Hill School converted to an Academy in 2011. We are bound by our Articles of Association, which describe how we are organised and provide the ‘rules’ for how we can operate.
As an Academy we have more freedom and flexibility over how we are governed, including how the school spends its budget. The school is managed and led by Mr Mann and the Senior Leadership Team with the governors supporting and challenging in their role as ‘critical friend’ to drive long term development and strategic improvement.
Becoming a Trustee
Trustees can get a great deal from the work and time they put into the role, from meeting new people to learning new skills, and experiencing decision making at board level. Most importantly you have the chance to help improve the education and life chances of children and young people.
‘Being a trustee is about both challenging and supporting the school and the management team. I’m a great believer in getting involved and making a difference, and at the same time I’ve learnt a great deal about how schools run and the education sector.’
Lorna has more than twelve years’ experience of school governance. She first became a parent governor when her children were in primary school and became a trustee of Amery Hill School when the family moved to Alton in 2014.
Do I need any professional qualifications to be a school trustee?
No. Schools need volunteers with a variety of life experiences, however whilst you do not need qualifications to be a trustee, trustees will need to demonstrate:
- an ability to work in a team and debate issues in a constructive manner
- good strategic and general financial awareness
- the capacity to shape, implement and monitor policy
- an active interest in secondary education and lifelong learning
- a commitment to participate in training to enhance your effectiveness in the role
‘Being a trustee has been both a great learning curve and an opportunity to support the school. Education, and Amery Hill, is continually evolving which means our role in the school is essential. Whilst being a trustee requires commitment, working with staff and the management team to support students in their journey and to see their accomplishments along the way is very rewarding.’
Jackie has 20 years of experience of governance. During that time, she has held several roles including Chair and Committee Chair and trustee of Eggar’s Trust. She also managed the school through its transition to an academy. Whilst serving on the Board of the Alton Chamber of Commerce she was invited to join the governing body to augment its business knowledge.
Are you looking for any skills or knowledge?
Being a trustee is a great opportunity for professionals looking to improve their business or leadership skills, and we are particularly interested in speaking to people with experience in the following areas:
- Health & Safety
- Legal or HR experience
- IT systems
’I would encourage anyone considering the role to step up. You quickly become part of a group with a clear focus on the way ahead. It’s very rewarding to know that you have been able to enhance aspects of the education that children are offered. It certainly isn’t like teaching – although you come to respect the work of teachers – but it is a rich and challenging role.’
Sue has found that becoming a trustee for the school has been a very rewarding way of celebrating the power of education; we all remember our teachers and the impact they made on our lives. As a trustee, you can bring your life experiences to support and enhance the education that young people are receiving right now.
How much time will I need to commit?
The role requires you attend twelve meetings spaced through the academic year and a Trustee Day in October. There is a comprehensive training programme available throughout the year, and trustees are expected to show a commitment to their own learning and development as well as that of the staff and students at the school.
’It is great to feel I have a stake in shaping the future of the young people of the town in engaging with the work of an institution dedicated to producing excellence.’
As a former secondary school deputy headteacher, Robin has served as a community trustee for the last three years at Amery Hill School, both as internal scrutineer and now as Chair of the Standards Committee. Being a ‘critical friend’ has enabled him to provide the perspective of the people of Alton in his roles as a resident, a supporter of a local sports club and The King’s Arms and a member of the parish church.
We are always keen to hear from people in our community who may be interested in becoming a school trustee. If you are interested in joining the team, please follow the link below to provide your contact details.