Reflections of 2023

"Shaping Governance" is more than a company name; it captures the very essence of our mission. Since 2017, Shaping Governance has improved the landscape of governance and the support provided to the public sector governors in our schools, councils and charities.  

During the last 12 months, Shaping Governance has again supported 100s of schools and councils to ensure that their governance is adding value to outcomes for children and communities. I can't remember how many times this year I have witnessed the "lightbulb moment" in participants during our support, and I never tire of seeing the positive impact that our support gives.

This year, Shaping Governance has:

  • Supported Councils to improve the impact of the Children's Overview and Scrutiny committees, making it part of the improvement journey for children's services;
  • Helped Corporate Parents and their Corporate Parenting Boards to navigate their role and become real champions for their children in care and care leavers by understanding how better governance contributes to better outcomes;
  • Reviewed governance arrangements in Multi-Academy Trusts, using our holistic approach to help trustees and governors fully understand how to improve their governance and how they can build better relationships across the tiers of their governance;
  • Become a provider of choice for external reviews of governance following the closure of the national leaders of governance programme;
  • Built the confidence of governors and governing boards by helping them to learn, reflect and improve their practice and impact; and understanding the benefit of building regular reflection into their governance;
  • Championed the need for child-centred and appreciative governance - that is, making a difference in how boards govern and operate;
  • Helped governors and trustees learn how to change the conversation, grow the good and understand how appreciative approaches can make for better governance;
  • Expanded the clerking services to schools, academies and the not-for-profit sector;
  • Expanded the team to meet the rise in demand for all of our services, take a look at the growing team;
  • Brought about lasting change to all we have worked with - even being called agents of change!

The New Year is always a time for reflection and renewal, and building time to reflect on what we have helped these schools and councils to achieve over the year is very important. One notable change this year has been the appetite of boards to think differently, be brave and try new approaches. This is really exciting, and how the sectors are responding our appreciative approach is fantastic. I have also taken the time to reflect personally too, and the journey I am on to bring governance support to all. Whilst I have reflected on the last 12 months, I have also looked back to see the difference to the company since it began in 2017. Initially called Insight to Impact Consulting, rebranding back in 2021 to Shaping Governance, as that is what we were known and valued for.  I am extremely proud of the way that the work and support that we provide has developed, but we never sit still and as a reflector, I like to learn from what we do and make it even better.

Shaping Governance's strength lies in using the insight from our multi-sector governance support and blending this with appreciative approaches that seek to grow the good and make it more commonplace. Being appreciative is something that sets our work apart from others. It's something that I have been a great fan of for a long time; well, I am a glass-half-full person.

So, what's in store for 2024?

With a growing team, the list of new programmes and support we are developing this year continues to grow. Shaping Governance turns seven in April, and we have much to be thankful for and proud of. Here are just some of the highlights to watch out for in 2024:

  • 20 years on from the Children Act 2004, we spend a year looking at the changes, improvements and challenges for schools, councils and their partners - through the lens of our experience and insight from our work - plus several special guest blogs;
  • New online courses sharing the insight from our work with school governors and councils;
  • Continue to be a leading provider of external governance reviews across the education and council sectors, and extending our reach further into the not-for-profit sector;
  • Expand our clerking and governance professional services to meet the increasing demand.

In summary, "Shaping Governance" is not just a name; it is our call to action for a better future which places governance at the centre of our schools, councils and not-for-profit organisations all of the time, not just when the mood takes us.

I look forward to working with you in 2024,

Su Turner, CEO of Shaping Governance and former National Leader of Governance

Posted in Shaping Governance.