Skip to main content

On the board

Tim Hopkins, 34, is a Catholic priest and chair of governors at two primary schools in his parish: St Bridgets, which is a beacon school; and Corpus Christi with St Anne. Both are in East Manchester and in the education action zone he chairs.

What made you want to be a governor?

It is an expectation on the part of the diocese, and also a key part of being a priest is to be actively involved as a governor. It was part of the mandate to reform the parish. On a personal level, my father and mother both taught at St Bridgets at one time.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

It has exceeded them. The area is third in the national poverty index and has suffered from huge demolition since the 1960s. As a result there is a great deal of transience. It has been marvellous to have a beacon school here.

What dodon't you like?

I don't like the fact that more and more tasks are added to the governor's role without clarifying them, for example the recent initiatives on the nutritional content of meals. There are unnecessary burdens imposed; the role should be more strategic. I like the fact that we have been able to influence successful bids and had the capacity to lead initiatives.

Has the experience changed you?

It has confirmed my opinion that education must be at the heart of the regeneration process and that we need stronger community support for schools.

What is the biggest, best or worst change you've seen?

The biggest change has been the achievement of quality, sometimes missed in the stereotyping of inner-city schools. We have achieved Investors in People status and are a national flagship school. Manchester LEA has had a lot of negative publicity but we now have a genuine partnership.

What does your family think?

Being a teaching family they are very proud, particularly of my involvement in their old school.

If you could wave a wand, what would you wish for the school?

Continued success, and for the two schools to continue to play a lead role in regeneration.

And who or what would you make disappear?

The governors' annual meeting for parents.

Your ideal fantasy governor?

Someone like Bill Gates to maximise our ICT potential. It would be good to get the private sector in to help with technical skills.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you