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Harris FederationCroydon

Would you like to shape the future of one of our thriving academies as a Governor?

Outstanding local governance is vital to the success of Harris academies, with numerous Ofsted reports paying tribute to the role played by the governors of our academies. Harris Federation governing bodies carry much of the responsibility for setting the strategic direction of our academies and for monitoring all aspects of performance. 

We want to hear from individuals who have the interest and time to support our academies as a Harris Governor. We are looking for committed individuals from the local community, and from all walks of life and backgrounds who can share their knowledge, experience, expertise and skills to support our academies and to enhance the opportunities for our young people and families within the community.

Being a governor is a voluntary position and we are incredibly grateful to the highly skilled group of people who commit their time and expertise to our academies.

About Us

The Harris Federation is a leading education charity with 51 Harris primary and secondary academies across London and Essex. The founder, Chairman and sponsor of the Harris Federation, Lord Harris of Peckham, opened our first school in 1990. We now have over 5,000 staff and educate some 40,000 young people, and closing the gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers has always been a core mission. 

We were recognised as a ‘top performer’ in primary and secondary education in the Department for Education’s first set of performance tables comparing academy trusts in England. Three consecutive research reports by the Sutton Trust, a social mobility think tank, have highlighted that the Harris Federation is among ‘the best academy chains (for) having a transformational impact on pupils’ life chances.’ And data experts Watchsted rank us first out of 26 sponsors for improving Ofsted outcomes in schools. Social mobility is the Holy Grail for the pupils we serve. The key to their futures is a high quality education.

Main Areas of Responsibility

Our governors come from all walks of life and all backgrounds. This diversity is a crucial component of the success of Harris, as our governors bring a wide range of perspectives into our academies.

To be a Harris governor, you need to be willing and able to dedicate some time to the role and you need to be a good team player.

You can expect four to five governing body meetings per year – often, but not always, these are in the evenings. Governors also visit their academy three times a year so they can see first-hand how they operate and have the opportunity to speak to pupils and staff.

Experienced governors maybe asked to offer their support and challenge as part of a panel – for example, if the school is interviewing candidates for a key leadership role or if it is hearing an appeal about a pupil exclusion.

Being a governor can be highly rewarding and an opportunity to gain an insight into the workings of an academy, and to play a part in improving outcomes for pupils and students.

Qualifications & Experience

We are looking for individuals who can:

  • think strategically and can contribute to the development of the academy
  • listen, reflect and learn from a range of viewpoints
  • analyse and interpret data and statistics
  • confidently ask questions and challenge academy leaders in an appropriate way

Next Steps

If you have any questions about becoming a Harris governor, please contact Alan Palmer, Governor Services Lead, via e-mail

To register your interest in becoming a Harris governor, please apply to complete a short online application.

Professional Development & Benefits

Our Harris Leadership College provides a successful and well-established Governor Training Programme. This ensures you are trained and equipped to perform your role as a governor.

We have expert trainers to help you with topics including understanding school budgets, curriculum, safeguarding, Ofsted, codes of practice, special educational needs and using data to pinpoint priorities.

This means you can be sure you’re up to date with national changes in education and know what is required to support the success of the academy you are a governor of.

Safeguarding Notice

The Harris Federation and all our academies are committed to ensuring the highest levels of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and we expect all our staff and volunteers to share in this commitment. All offers of employment are subject to an Enhanced DBS check, references, and where applicable, a prohibition from teaching check will be completed for all applicants. Before applying, please review our Policy Statement on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders.

Equal Opportunities

The Harris Federation is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates.

As a provider of employment and education, we value the diversity of our staff and students, and all our staff are equally valued and respected. We are committed to providing a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment for our students and staff.

Supporting documents

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