Todmorden High School

Name: Jon Hairsine

Title: Chair of Governors

School Name: Todmorden High School

School Type: Secondary

Tell us a little bit about your school

Tod High is a smaller than average (800 pupils) local-authority maintained secondary school situated in a small town in a valley in the South Pennines. It serves an economically mixed, mostly white British community and takes its pupils predominantly from seven nearby primary schools.

The school has strong academic results – the third best ‘progress 8’ score in Calderdale for 2015/2016 – and is proud of its warm and nurturing ethos.

Why did you come to Governors for Schools and how did we help?

Like many schools, we have found it a challenge finding enough governors with the time to commit, and with the relevant skills and experience.

Did you have any particular requirements?

Not really. In general, we need people who have worked in professional organisations of some kind as they tend to have a range of skills and experience relevant to running an effective organisation. We’re happy to teach them what they need to know about schools.

What was your timescale? Did everything run smoothly?

We needed someone as soon as reasonably possible.

What skills did they bring and how have they fitted in?

The governor who joined is retired but she is an architect by background and had, more recently, been an academic. She has also been a governor at a local primary school for the last year.

What impact have they made?

The governor in question is still fairly new to us but she has demonstrated a good overall understanding and has asked incisive questions in the meetings she has attended so far. She has certainly added to overall governance capacity.

How has working with Governors for Schools benefited your school?

Finding a very able governor who is helping us effectively challenge and support the school’s leadership.