Cleeve School

Cleeve School scoops national award for outstanding governance practice

  Cleeve School in Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham was named winner in the outstanding governance in a single school category at the National Governance Association’s (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards 2021 on Thursday 9 September. The category recognises a governing board that goes beyond the basics of their role to have a significant impact on the education provided to pupils in their school.

 They were among 15 governing boards and eight  governance professionals who received awards presented   by Baroness Berridge (Parliamentary Under Secretary of  State for the School System). The awards celebrate the best  of school and trust governance in England. They aim to recognise the achievements of volunteer school governors and trustees as well as governance professionals for their substantial and valuable contribution to education and their impact on the lives of children and young people.

Announcing Cleeve School as category winners Lynn Howard, chair of trustees at NGA said that the board is “energetic and focused on driving improvement and ensuring the best for each pupil at the school”. The judges praised how the board “places inclusion at the heart of improvement” and “listen to the experiences and ideas of pupils and staff” to inform decision-making.

Alwyn Richards, Executive Head at Cleeve School said, ‘We are absolutely delighted that the school has achieved this tremendous award. Our Trustees are a huge part of what we are and what we are becoming, and therefore the mark of being ‘Outstanding’ is very exciting and a powerful marker for our future development. Well done to everyone who has been involved with our team of Trustees over the last few years – all of their hard work and commitment, support and challenge, has led to this great success’.  

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said: “The story of success demonstrated by Cleeve School underlines how governance truly contributes to the sustainability of our schools and the educational achievement and wellbeing of children and young people. The board and the whole school community showed us their passion for achieving the best for the children they serve. We are very proud to recognise their achievements.”

 Simon Wall, Chair of the board of Trustees said. “The Board of Trustees at Cleeve School is thrilled to have received this award.  We work hard in collaboration with the brilliant staff at Cleeve to set the school’s strategic direction and ensure the best outcomes for our students, whilst looking after their wellbeing. It is lovely to be recognised in this way.  We are very proud of the achievements of the school and remain a critical friend providing support and challenge where needed. We look forward to seeing the continued success of the school as it moves from strength to strength.”

In a speech before presenting the awards Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System said: “These awards recognise both the excellent contributions that each of you are making and the importance of working together as a team. That collective endeavour ensures that children are receiving the best education possible, giving them the best start in life… You are driving relentless ambition for the young people served by our schools system, whatever the circumstances. I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to you today.”


About NGA

The National Governance Association (NGA) is the membership organisation for governors, trustees and governance professionals of state schools in England. We are an independent, not-for-profit charity that aims to improve the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards and promoting high standards. We are expert leaders in school and trust governance, providing information, advice and guidance, professional development and e-learning. We represent the views of governors, trustees and governance professionals at a national level and work closely with, and lobby, UK government and educational bodies.

2021 finalists in full:

Outstanding clerk to a governing board

WINNER Sarah Steven – The Galaxy Trust, Kent

HIGHLY COMMENDED Lesley Hardwick – The Education People Clerking Service, schools in Kent

FINALIST Beth Yap – Frontier Learning Trust, London

FINALIST Kate Williams – SMART Schools Trust, Cornwall

Outstanding lead governance professional

WINNER Carina Sawyer – Magna Learning Partnership, Wiltshire

HIGHLY COMMENDED Becky Poynter – Unity Schools Partnership, East of England and East London

FINALIST Ann Adams – Support Services for Education, Somerset

FINALIST Karen Froggatt – Wellspring Academy Trust, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Outstanding vision and strategy

WINNER Learn Academies Trust, Leicestershire

WINNER Riccall Community Primary School, North Yorkshire

FINALIST Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust, Teesside and North Yorkshire

FINALIST Wellspring Academy Trust, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Outstanding governance in a single school

WINNER Cleeve School, Gloucestershire

HIGHLY COMMENDED Pathways Learning Centre, South Gloucestershire

FINALIST Snaith Primary School, East Riding of Yorkshire

FINALIST Caroline Haslett Primary School, Milton Keynes

Outstanding governance in a multi academy trust

WINNER Anglian Learning, East of England

WINNER STEP Academy Trust, South London and East Sussex

FINALIST Nexus MAT, Yorkshire

FINALIST Northern Star Academies Trust, North and West Yorkshire

FINALIST Unity Schools Partnership, East of England and East London

Outstanding governance in a federation

WINNER Castle Church of England Federation, Hertfordshire

WINNER Islington Futures Federation, London