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Posts by Mark Taylor

297: How to recruit school governors and trustees with National Governance Association

New research from the National Governance Association has found that vacancies for school governors and trustees are at their highest since 2016. 67 per cent of governing boards reported at least one vacancy and of these, 38 per cent reported two or more vacancies. The results are part of the NGA’s 2022 annual governance survey which also found that, post pandemic, 63 per cent of respondents reported issues with recruitment compared to 55 per cent in 2019.

Governing boards are responsible for the strategic direction of a school or trust and their decisions impact hundreds, if not thousands of pupils. With the typical board consisting of nine or ten governors or trustees, the high vacancy rate means some boards may struggle to drive improvement and provide sufficient scrutiny and financial oversight.

Overall, the NGA estimates there are currently more than 20,000 vacancies.

The research also found that the number of governors and trustees under 40 was just 6 per cent – the lowest on record since 2015. Half of governors and trustees are over 60 years (51 per cent) but just 1 per cent were under 30. Schools and trusts benefit hugely from the experience of older governors and trustees, but without younger volunteers also joining boards, they are missing the input of those who have recently experienced school.

Anju Dhir, who became a school governor in her mid-thirties, believes governors need to be more visible to young people: “There are more governors 80 years and over than under 30. The issue is that young people simply don’t know what we do – or that we even exist. This is a huge waste of human capital, for both schools and our young people. Becoming a governor is an incredible way to develop your career and can start from as young as 18 – how many young people normally get to join the board? For governing boards having someone who has recently experienced our education system is invaluable. Governing has helped me to develop in my career, as well as being a satisfying way to give back to my local community.”

To help with governor and trustee recruitment the NGA has launched a new film demystifying governance and encouraging people to find out more about how they can help the schools in their community. It’s part of the NGA’s Visible Governance initiative to make governance more visible in society.

Emma Knights, CEO of the National Governance Association said: “School and trust governance needs to be recognised and celebrated for its positive role in ensuring pupils and staff can flourish. Huge thanks are owed to all those committed volunteers carrying out this role with such care and reflection without a song and a dance. These findings make for sobering reading: schools need more good people and we need to get the message out far and wide to engage the thousands we need to fill governance roles. This is why we have launched a new film today explaining what school governors and trustees do and their role in helping our schools to succeed.”


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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at 

267: How the school environment is affecting pupils with Professor Stephen Heppell

Stephen’s “eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground” approach, coupled with a vast portfolio of effective large scale projects over three decades, have established him internationally as a widely and fondly recognized leader in the fields of learning, new media and technology.

He was a school teacher for more than a decade, and has beena professor since 1989. Stephen has worked, and is working, with learner led projects, with governments around the world, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, with schools and communities, with his PhD students and with many influential trusts and organizations.

Professor The Felipe Segovia Chair of Learning Innovation at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid, from 2011 – continues

Professor. Chair in New Media Environments, Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth University, Prof from from 2008 – 2017,

Emeritus Professor Chair in New Learning Environments, Anglia Ruskin University, from 1989 – continues

Executive chairman Learning Possibilities+ from 2010 – continues

In June 2006 Stephen was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Judges Award for Lifelong Services to Educational Broadcasting. In 2008 he received the prestigious BETT Award for Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education. In 2014 he was honoured to receive the UK’s NAACE Award for Lifetime Achievement in educational technology.

Stephen is, and has been, a regular face on TV all around the world – in the UK this ranges from Newsnight, the BBC Breakfast sofa and Sky News, to Channel 4’s Things to Come. On radio too: from BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours to the Steve Wright Show – or even right back to Phil Miles on Australia’s Island Sound radio in 1992! In Australia radio regular appearances range from national ABC to statewide Mix Radio in WA.


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Twitter @stephenheppell

Facebook stephenheppell

Resource Mentioned

The Role of Podcasts in Education Marketing and Education Technology | BETT 2022 EdTech Talks

It’s More Complex than Just CO2 | Professor Stephen Heppell | BETT 2022 EdTech Talks

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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at

Are you looking for a FUN activity to do with your children this summer?  

Would you love to make your own delicious ice cream? 

Now you can learn exactly how by taking part in an exciting and engaging ice cream experience during the summer holiday.  

Full details at:

265: THINK Global School with Russell Cailey

THINK Global School’s rigorous Changemaker Curriculum combines travel with project-based learning, making for a one-of-a-kind education that nurtures all areas of teenage development.

Russell is one of the principals of THINK Global School (TGS) and was voted one of the top 100 Global Visionaries in Education (GFEL, 2021). TGS is the world’s first travelling high school, and beyond the travel, TGS offers a distinctly unique environment for students to guide their learning through the Changemaker Curriculum. Designed with agency in mind, the Changemaker Curriculum empowers students to create and implement projects relevant to the countries they call home during the course of their TGS education.


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Resource Mentioned

Weapons of Mass Instruction – John Taylor Gatto

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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at

260: Mindfulness Art Activities with Cynthia Hauk MFA

Cynthia Hauk is a Mindful Art Teacher and Trainer. She loves sharing simple mindfulness and art activities to help people de-stress and practice self-care. She trains artists, yogis, K-12 teachers, and therapists to teach Mindfulness, Meditation, and Art activities in the classroom for both children and adults. Her YouTube Channel and online summits have reached students in 50 countries and growing.


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Twitter @mcreativemuse

Insta @mindfulcreativemuse

Resource Mentioned

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at

Listen to Mark’s audio course 

10 Pieces of Advice You’d Like to Have as a Child

Ocean Plastic & Climate Change Writing Festival

National Association for Primary Education presents: Ocean Plastic & Climate Change Writing Festival.

This online zoom call will be the starting event to launch a festival of writing on this topic.

Presented by Ellie Jackson, author of Wild Tribe Heroes – The No.1 Children’s Book Series On Ocean Plastics & Climate Change.

We will separate entries into KS1& KS2. Selected stories will have the chance to be heard on the NAPE podcast and published in our Primary First journal.

Find out more at

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