Kate Williams of South East Cornwall Multi Academy Regional Trust based in Liskeard was a finalist in the outstanding clerk to a governing board category at the National Governance Association’s (NGA) Outstanding Governance Awards 2021 on Thursday 9 September. The category celebrates the integral role of the professional clerk in providing administrative support and legal and procedural advice to have a significant impact on the effectiveness of their governing board.

Kate 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). 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.

Inviting Kate Williams to receive her finalist award Charlotte Harding, Head of National Leaders of Governance Support at NGA said that Kate “has quickly become a trusted voice for governance within her trust”. Clerking both the trust board and the committees of the trust’s six schools, Kate was commended for being “adept in supporting and balancing the priorities of each school, the trust board and senior leaders”. Judges also commented on how Kate “employs strategies to ensure the ideas and passions of individual volunteer governors and trustees are respected”.

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said: “The story of success demonstrated by Kate underlines how governance professionals truly contribute to the sustainability of our schools and the educational achievement and wellbeing of children and young people. Kate showed us her passion for improving governance and for improving outcomes for pupils. We are very proud to recognise her achievement.”

In a speech before presenting the awards Baroness Berridge, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System 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.”