Gillian Barker

About me:

An NLG since 2016, Gillian has over 20 years’ experience as a school governor. She is currently chair of governors at Walthamstow School for Girls secondary school and vice-chair of George Tomlinson Primary, Leytonstone – both LA-maintained schools.  Walthamstow School for Girls was judged ‘outstanding’ at its recent Ofsted inspection in June 2018 and the governing body described as ‘highly effective’.

Since becoming an NLG, Gillian has supported both primary and secondary schools in Waltham Forest. As a governor, she has made good use of the management experience gained when she worked previously as a a head of marketing at various law firms in the City of London. She has a degree in English and a Master’s degree in business.

Governance experience:

  • Primary (Vice chair)
  • Secondary
  • Maintained sector

NLG experience:

Secondary governing body

Chair of secondary governing body

Primary governing body (quasi-IEB)

Parental complaint investigation (SEN Child)

Secondary governing body

1-2-1 coaching of a chair of governors

1. Strategic Leadership 5. Compliance
Creating a shared vision, ethos and strategic direction Understanding the regulatory framework for governance
Strategic planning for schools and boards Compliance with the Academy Financial Handbook
Strategic financial leadership Readiness for Ofsted
Strategic HR leadership Effective Safeguarding
Strategic business leadership Strategic leadership of SEND and inclusion
Leading change management Strategic leadership of Pupil Premium and provision for disadvantaged pupils
Stakeholder engagement & communication Data management and GDPR
Managing and prioritising risks Health and Safety responsibilities
Equality responsibilities
Investigations, panels and appeals
2. Accountability 6. Evaluation
Strategic Leadership of school improvement External Reviews of Governance
Creating accountability structures, SMART targets and KPIs MAT Health Checks
Planning and leading strategic monitoring Reviews of LGBs
Presenting and analysing data Skills audits and action planning
Triangulation, benchmarking and holding to account Facilitated governance self-reviews
Headteacher performance management Performance Management of Chairs
Monitoring of staff performance management Governor appraisals
CEO performance management
Chair performance management
Complaint investigation and management
3. People 7. Other areas of expertise
Team leadership Leading governance networks
Recruiting and retaining the governance team Developing governor training
Succession planning Delivering governor training
Creating a team culture Developing governance support materials
Expectation setting and conduct
Holding the governance team to account
Creating a governance development plan
Relationship management
Conflict management
Meeting management
4. Structures 8. NLG Training Completed
Governance team organisation, processes and structures – constitutions, terms of reference, role profiles NLG induction
Creating a scheme of delegation Essential deployment skills
Governance in a Local Governing Body Power of Coaching
Trust board governance External Review of Governance
Forming a Trust board Governance leadership programme (DfE)
Forming a MAT
Joining a MAT
Governance in Federations