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 have experienced many new challenges and concerns, we have 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 grew steadily  throughout the 2020-21.  Online provision certainly was more convenient for many members, especially regarding childcare, but others felt that debate and networking was much more tricky than in a face-to-face environment, so in 2021-22, we are offering a blended approach, safety permitting.

As a result of increased participation, and the expansion of the RGA board, we are pleased to be able to increase our offer to members this year: the finance network has become firmly established, and we have introduced two new forums, for clerks and for new governors (with less than two years’ experience).  These provide an informal yet confidential space within which peers can share questions and concerns, facilitated by an RGA board member.

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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We were delighted to welcome Regional Schools’ Commissioner for North-West London and South Central England, Dame Kate Dethridge to our Winter Conference on 9th December 2021.  Many of you will remember Dame Kate as a leader within the Reading schools’ community: as the Headteacher of (formerly) Churchend Primary School, Kate successfully steered its conversion to a primary academy in 2012.

If you govern on either a Single Academy Trust board or a maintained Local Authority governing board, you should be regularly assessing the progress of the academies programme as part of your duty to plan strategically for your school’s future, as it is a strong and ongoing element of the Department for Education’s direction of travel.

If you missed our conference, you can see Dame Kate’s presentation slides and also access the recording from the conference.  The RSC team is very happy to answer any of your questions, including how to find details of which Multi Academy Trusts are operating in your area, and you can contact them directly here.


Chair – Julia Cottee

Vice-Chair – Richard Rolfe

Treasurer – Chris Robinson

Clerk – Hazel Archer

Officers – John Ennis, Matt Espley, Yvonne Newman

Associates – Alice Boon, Sarah Shortt

Our Constitution



AGM & Summer Conference
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The Wren School, 61-63 Bath Road, Reading, RG30 2BB

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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 …

CVCC Agenda published

2nd September 2021

For all current and aspiring Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Governing Boards, and their Clerks: the new academic year has started and now it’s time to switch back from holiday to governor mode.  Our network meeting will recap those areas which boards should be prioritising …