Annual governance conference highlights commitment to Catholic education and collaboration

Holy Family Multi Academy Trust recently hosted its governance conference, which invited governors and directors from across the Trust, its seven schools and schools outside the Trust, to meet, collaborate, and share ideas and best practice.

The annual event took place at the Holiday Inn in Ellesmere Port, with attendees benefitting from a jam-packed itinerary that included guest speeches, governance and Trust updates, and interactive workshops.

The keynote speech, delivered by seasoned Catholic leader and distinguished educational speaker and writer, Raymond Friel OBE (main picture), was an impactful discussion on ‘Transforming the World: Catholic Education in the 21st Century’.

Raymond’s speech encouraged attendees to reflect on the essential mission of a Catholic school and the pivotal role Catholic schools play in supporting social justice within society.

Chris Hotchkiss, governor at St Bernard’s RC Primary and Nursery School and St John Plessington Catholic College, shared how Raymond’s speech reinforced what schools should be focussing on.

Chris said: “It has been a fantastic day, and listening to someone like Raymond reinforces what we, as Catholic schools, should be looking at. It also serves as a reminder of our mission and why we do what we do.”

During the afternoon, attendees had the choice of a selection of workshops to attend, including Link Governors to Accountability, a Governor’s Role in Managing the Wellbeing and Workload of Staff in Schools, Behaviour and Attendance and Your Role, and C Change: Creativity Collaborative update.

Madeleine Ward, governor at Our Lady of Pity RC Primary School and former RE coordinator at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, shared how useful she found the event.

Madeleine said: “Today has been extremely useful. It is fantastic to be part of a support network across the schools within the Trust and work collaboratively to share best practice, knowledge and experiences.”

The event was also an opportunity to officially introduce Hans Van Mourik Broekman to the Trust’s governors and directors. Hans will join the Trust in September 2024 as lay chaplain.

As a Catholic trust with Gospel values at the heart, the Trust was keen to use the event to encourage its governors and directors to continue drawing on Catholic teachings within their roles.

CEO of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust, Andy Moor, said: “As a Trust, we are incredibly proud to be supported by a team of governors and directors who share our vision of ‘Formation, Inspiration, Transformation’.

“Our annual governance conference is an opportunity for us to come together as a collective and share experiences, ideas, and best practice with the ultimate goal of continuing governance improvement across our schools.

Andy added: “It was fantastic to be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals, each connected by their shared passion for delivering outstanding Catholic education.”