Arden Academy and Language College

Top menu

Arden: preparing you for a world of opportunity


Welcome to the Governors’ section of the Arden website.

In a community the size of Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath, Arden is a big operation. Every day that the school is open, over 1,400 students and well over 100 members of staff come and work on the campus.

Being a Governor of the school is certainly not just about sitting on the stage at Presentation Evening looking important - although these evenings and all the various performing arts, sporting, and special faculty events during the year are all very exciting occasions that we all treasure. The main function of the Board of Governors is to challenge and support the Headteacher and the Leadership Team in running and developing the school; this is sometimes referred to as being the “critical friend”. In doing this the objective of the Governors is to act collectively to secure the best possible performance by the school with one primary aim – to maximise the life chances of every single one of the pupils in its care. Along with this comes a recognition of our role as a school at the heart of its local community.

Governors are appointed in a number of different ways. At Arden, the central group is formed of parent governors who are elected by ballot of the parents with nominations coming only from the parents themselves. The school staff elects two members and the Headteacher has an ex-officio seat on the Board. Other Governors come from the local community - currently these are appointed by the elected Board members but with the recent change of status of the school a group is working to seek to refine the arrangements for community nomination, and there is provision for co-option of a limited number of other Governors. Every Governor, however appointed, must act for the best interests of the school and, particularly, its students, and must act as part of a group and not individually, unless delegated to do so by the Board.

Governors do not “manage” the school – that is the task of the Headteacher and the Leadership Team. Rather, they develop the strategy for the school, monitor its performance, holding the management team to account, and focus on the creation of a true learning environment and ethos. Some examples over recent years of this type of strategic decision have been the setting up of the post-16 pilot with Heart of England School which proved the predecessor to the successful application for 6th form status, the construction of the Science Block and the new teaching block, acquiring funding for the recent £4M building with funds separate from those of the Local Authority and agreeing and supporting the partnership with Park Hall Academy which has resulted in a huge benefit to the pupils of that school which had been in difficulties but the support of whom also been of real value to Arden in expanding horizons for all concerned.

Of course, the most recent development has been the transition to Academy status. This has empowered the school to be able to operate in the best interests of its students with much more authority to seek the services it really needs and to have an undivided focus on the students and serving the local community directly. This has brought more responsibilities to the Governors although the biggest one of maximising the experience of the young people and having a safe and secure learning environment remains our central focus. The new arrangements mean that Governors are also directors of the Arden Academy Trust Company with all the Companies Acts obligations and are also Trustees in the Charities Act sense.

All of this makes for a wide range of accountabilities, responsibilities and activities – the formal responsibilities under Company Law, the financial wellbeing of the school, being the direct employer of all the staff, occasionally less pleasant tasks such as disciplinary matters, and, of course, those happy occasions when we come together to celebrate success or join in social activities or entertainment.

The Governors are a dedicated and committed group of people from a range of backgrounds covering human resources, education and training, law, charity work, social work and business. We hold regular meetings and have a number of sub-committees and working groups. We are proud to be associated with Arden and will at all times do our best to ensure that our school is successful and well managed and serves the needs of our local children.

Parent Governors

Community Governors

Co-opted Governors

Staff Governors

Andrew Devitt

Bill Bohanna

Sarah Bloomer

Damian Burgess (Teaching)

Petro Nicolaides

Geoff Harley-Mason (Chair)

Ruth Brown

Martin Murphy (Ex Officio)

Paul Rylah

Leslie Hough

Wendy Jarema

Paula Scott (Non-teaching)

Anthony Stonehewer

Mary Ing


Celia O'Donovan


application/pdf Declaration of Governor Interests

If you would like to contact Mr Harley-Mason directly you can do so by emailing him: [email protected]

Governors Secure Area

Please find all the information related to Governors in this secure area.


Arden Academy EOY Accounts & Statements

Further information regarding Arden Academy's EOY Accounts and statements