Northern Star Academies Trust was a finalist in the outstanding governance in a multi academy trust category at the National Governance Association’s (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards 2021 at the House of Commons on Thursday 9 September. The category recognises a governing board with a solid strategic approach and a healthy culture where central and local governance works together as one organisation to best serve their schools.
Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said: “The story of success demonstrated by Northern Star Academies Trust 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.”
NSAT was among 15 governing boards and eight governance professionals who received awards presented by Baroness Berridge (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System – pictured, centre). 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.
In a speech before presenting the awards Baroness Berridge 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.”
Inviting Northern Star Academies Trust to receive their finalist award, Sam Henson, director of policy and information at NGA said that the board demonstrated a “gold standard in setting a culture which permeates the trust” and praised how the board balances support for and listening to local schools with “protecting the individual characters of schools”.
In receiving the award, Jenn Plews, Trust Leader (CEO) of NSAT, acknowledged the work of all layers of governance across the Trust: "To have been awarded as national finalists for NGA’s Outstanding Governance in a Multi-Academy Trust during the pandemic months was both an honour and a privilege. The award recognises the incredible part Trustees and governors play, as volunteers, in supporting and challenging the schools in our Trust Partnership to deliver a brilliant education to all their children and young people".
Honouring the efforts of NSAT’s 80-strong volunteer governance community, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Helen Flynn, highlighted: “As NSAT Trustees, we are all thrilled to have been finalists in the NGA Governance Awards. It has been a tough 18 months for everyone, so to get national recognition, as volunteers, for the time we put in to making sure children get a good start in life, and a great education at all our NSAT schools, is very welcome”.
You can catch up with the event as it happened on Twitter – @NGAMedia #NGAwards
The National Governance Association (NGA) is the membership organisation for governors, trustees and governance professionals of state schools in England. They 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. They are expert leaders in school and trust governance, providing information, advice and guidance, professional development and e-learning. They represent the views of governors, trustees and governance professionals at a national level and work closely with, and lobby, UK government and educational bodies.
To view the finalists in full click here.