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Arden: preparing you for a world of opportunity


Welcome to the Governors’ section of the Arden website

Arden is a big operation right at the heart of the Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath community. At the core of Arden are the governors who play a vital role in the strategy of the school and of all its activities.

The role of governors is distinct from that of the management of the school. The prime role of academy governors is threefold as set out by the government. These are to be responsible for Finance, Academic Performance and Strategy. This is done by offering challenge and support to the Principal and the Leadership Team in running and developing the school; this is sometimes referred to as being the “critical friend”. In doing so the Governors act collectively to secure the best possible performance by the academy with the one primary aim which is to maximise the life chances of every 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.

Appointment of Governors

There are different categories of Arden Governors. The first are parent governors who are elected by ballot of the parents with nominations coming only from the parents of existing pupils. Second there are two staff governors elected by Arden staff plus the Principal who has an ex-officio seat on the board. Third there are Community Governors who, although appointed by the existing board, are nominated by different organisations within the local community. Finally there are co-opted governors who the board has recruited for their particular expertise or experience.

Each Governor, however appointed, acts for the best interests of the school and, particularly, its students, and, once appointed is not there to specifically represent any particular constituency.

Developments overseen by Arden Governors

Governors do not “manage” the school – that is the task of the Principal 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 that have been made are:

  • Appointment of Martin Murphy as Principal
  • The successful application to setup an Arden Sixth Form
  • The transition to academy status
  • Building developments including the Smart Centre and Science block
  • The latest new build of 24 new classrooms and associated facilities in 2015
  • The development of Arden Multi Academy Trust allowing Arden to sponsor other schools

As Arden is an academy, the governors have 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 current governors come from a range of backgrounds covering human resources, education and training, law, charity work, social work and business. They hold regular meetings and have a number of sub-committees and working groups. They are proud to be associated with Arden and aim at all times do their 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

Kate Brennan (Teaching)

Petro Nicolaides

Geoff Harley-Mason (Chair)

Ruth Brown

Martin Murphy (Ex Officio)

Paul Rylah

Leslie Hough

Wendy Jarema

Paula Scott (Non-teaching)

Tony Stonehewer

Mary Ing

John Rice


Celia O'Donovan


application/pdf Declaration of Governor Interests

application/pdf Committee membership September 2015

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

Arden Academy EOY Accounts & Statements

Further information regarding Arden Academy's EOY Accounts and statements