Bringing Reading Schools Closer Together

Chair’s Welcome

Welcome to the RGA website.  This is a place created by governors, for governors.

During a turbulent time, in which governors experienced many unexpected challenges and concerns, we all identified some new skills and ways of working which are an improvement on historic practices. One of these has been a renewed sense of common purpose at school and governance level, which has resulted in greater collaboration and networking across schools which serve Reading families.

At the RGA, attendance at our events has been mixed.  Online provision certainly has been convenient for many members, especially regarding childcare, but others feel that debate and networking is much more tricky than in a face-to-face environment, so in 2021-22, we offered a blended approach.

Although attendance remained higher online, these meetings were more compatible with ‘talking heads’ rather than group discussion, and that moved away from our desired approach of supporting training via networking.  We also aim to complement, not reproduce, the governor training from BFfC, and as their service will be entirely online in 2022-23, I have made the decision to return all of our events to be held in person (subject to ongoing health and safety risks).

As the board consists of volunteers, we are continually searching to improve our strength and breadth of experience, and so would be very happy to welcome any new members who would like to extend their impact on local governance, and associated outcomes for Reading children, beyond their own schools.  Do please get in touch with me if this is of interest to you, and as always, the RGA is here to collaborate with you and share advice and examples of best practice.  Keep looking at this page for all the latest local news and updates.

Julia Cottee

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This year the RGA is changing its offer for members by returning to the focus of the Three Core Principles of school governance, rather than the specialist roles.  In addition to the Winter and Summer conferences, we are proposing to hold a ‘Governance Landscape’ conference in April, to discuss and strategise the effectiveness of governance across Reading and shape the future direction of travel.

We are folding our CVCC, Safeguarding, Inclusion and New Governor networks into the following new structure:

Strategic Network – for all governors, this will cover topics such as governor/clerk recruitment, GB Improvement Plans, Risk Registers, safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing, EDI

Challenge Network – for all governors, this will cover topics such as how to challenge effectively, evidence and triangulation, sitting on panels, strategic v operational, OFSTED, reviewing policies

Finance Network – this remains for all governors, covering topics such as the financial cycle, deficit recovery, benchmarking and value for money, cyber security, scrutinising documents and assets

We are also retaining the Clerking Network.

Your desired topics will be sought when you book a place for these events and the RGA will facilitate group discussions in addition to addressing the latest educational issues.


Chair – Julia Cottee
Vice-Chair – Richard Rolfe
Clerk – Hazel Archer
Treasurer – Chris Robinson
Officers – John Ennis, Matt Espley, Yvonne Newman
Associates – Alice Boon, Sarah Shortt

Our Constitution



Strategic Network (Autumn)
Scheduled ical Google outlook
This year's forthcoming events
The Wren School, Bath Road, Southcote, Reading, RG30 2BB
Finance Network (Autumn)
Scheduled ical Google outlook
This year's forthcoming events
The Wren School, Bath Road, Southcote, Reading, RG30 2BB
Challenge Network (Autumn)
Scheduled ical Google outlook
This year's forthcoming events
The Wren School, Bath Road, Southcote, Reading, RG30 2BB

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OFSTED congratulations from April & May

11th August 2022

A belated congratulations from the RGA to our members who achieved Good and Outstanding judgements in the April and May inspections in Reading.  They are:

Blagrave Nursery School – Outstanding

Caversham Nursery School 0-3s – Outstanding…

Welcome to RBC’s new Lead Councillor for Education: Ruth McEwan

10th June 2022

The new administration of RBC was approved on 26th May and our new Lead Councillor for Education & Public Health is Ruth McEwan, of Church Ward.

Ruth has been confirmed to speak at our forthcoming Summer Conference…

Reading’s new Director of Education announced

24th March 2022

Today Brighter Futures for Children announced the appointment of Brian Grady as our new permanent Director of Education from 1st May. Please find below a personal message from Brian: Dear colleagues, I am pleased to introduce myself as Director of Education…

BFfC announces the retirement of our Director of Education

4th September 2021

As most school opened their doors yesterday to pupils for the first day of the academic year, BFfC announced the startling news that Professor Doctor Kate Reynolds, Director of Education, Research and Business Development is retiring on 30th September…

Reading SEND provision is improving

4th September 2021

The inspection report from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission visit to Reading in June is out.  In a substantially positive report, the main findings are:
The quality of care and help for children and young people with SEND is improving. Leaders have an …