• Part Time
  • Mill Hill

Mathilda Marks-Kennedy Jewish Primary School

Mathilda Marks-Kennedy (“MMK”) is a successful and thriving single-form entry voluntary aided Jewish primary school in Mill Hill, Barnet, NW London. Proud of our strong ethos and history and excited for future progress, we are now seeking a motivated dynamic leader to be our next Chair of Governors.

Our next Chair will lead a skilled diverse team of volunteer governors to set and drive school strategy and improvement, hold the headteacher and senior leaders to account, and collaborate with stakeholders to effectively promote and deliver the school vision: “Middot, Melacha, Kavanah”

  • Middot” are positive characteristics including mental health, inclusivity, physical fitness and respect. MMK pupils are proud of their Jewish identity and culture, have a strong love of Israel and embody modern British Values.
  • Commitment to “Melacha” (work) includes critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy and collaborative learning. MMK strives for each individual to reach their full academic potential.
  • Kavanah” is the mindset and intention for truth, sincerity, purpose and direction for lifelong learning both in the secular and Jewish world.

This rewarding role provides an exciting opportunity to lead the dynamic team implementing MMK’s forward-looking vision. We are looking for someone interested in using their skills to contribute to the community by leading the MMK Board of Governors while being part of MMK’s journey to continually strive for improvement, building a unique environment in which the children can flourish. The successful candidate will also realise the importance of MMK’s strong Jewish ethos and be willing to engage with the school community through attendance at school events and direct interaction with staff, parents and pupils.

The role
This insight into the role includes the essential and desirable skills we would expect a candidate to have:

Provide clear leadership and direction, and keep the Board focused on its core functions:

  • Ensure the board follows the school’s clear vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Hold the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the pupils and performance management of the staff
  • Provide effective oversight of the school’s financial performance and ensuring value for money

In addition:

  • Work with the head teacher to promote and maintain the highest educational standards
  • Ensure the school and Governing Board meet all statutory and regulatory requirements, provide value for money and verify that business is conducted professionally, efficiently and effectively
  • Set high expectations for professional governance
  • Develop an effective team
  • Ensure all governors contribute their skills and experience and actively participate in meetings and committees
  • Ensure new governors are effectively inducted and that all governors receive appropriate training, development and experience
  • Hold honest conversations with ineffective members of the board as required
  • Be a ‘critical friend’ to the headteacher by offering challenge, support and encouragement
  • Work with the clerk to make sure the right data is accessible to the right people at the right time
  • Make decisions on behalf of the governing board in cases of urgency
  • Make a casting vote in the event of a tie

Essential skills

  • Ability to think strategically
  • Ability to lead the board, with experience of chairing committees
  • Effective and efficient time management both at board meetings and generally in managing tasks
  • Someone who is both inspiring and approachable
  • Ability to integrate quickly and adapt to changing situations
  • Ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholders (governors, staff, parents, pupils, external professional bodies) and demonstrate how their views shape board decisions
  • Prior experience as a school governor or charity trustee and therefore having working experience in the fields of education and/or governance. Alternatively, someone with the time and willingness to learn about the education sector and school governance
  • Ability to facilitate challenging decision-making and manage expectations while doing so, including to balance conflicting priorities, particularly financial vs non-financial factors
  • Ability to develop and preserve an organisation’s characteristics and culture
  • Knowledge or understanding of the Jewish way of life / Jewish community as represented by the ethos of MMK

Desirable skills

  • Commercial or educational background
  • Digital literacy
  • Fundraising experience
  • Experience in managing organisational change and/or running a business
  • Understanding the Chair of Governors’ leadership and management expectations as set out in the education inspection framework

Next steps
If you can envisage yourself in this role and would like to learn more or express an interest in becoming MMK’s next Chair of Governors, we would welcome the opportunity for a conversation and answer any questions you may have.

Please contact chair@mmks.barnet.sch.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

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