As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to welcome you to Hitchin Boys’ School. The school remains successful and popular. It acknowledges its history and traditions but keeps pace with the fast-moving modern world in which we live. The school, founded in 1632, has a very long and proud tradition of educating the boys of Hitchin and surrounding areas. As the school is part of the Hitchin Sixth-Form Consortium, so girls are now also included in this legacy.

Hitchin Boys’ School became a single Academy Trust in 2013. The school has two separate boards of governance, which have oversight of the activities of the school: The Board of Trustees and the Board of Academy Trust Members.

The Board of Trustees consists of a mixture of elected Parent Trustees, appointed Trustees, and Co-opted Trustees. The Board aims to include people with as wide a range of experience, skills and occupational backgrounds as possible. Many hold, or have held, senior positions in their respective professions, in industry, commerce or the community. The Headteacher is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. The full Board of Trustees normally meets between four and six times per year. In addition, there are four main committees which report to the Board of Trustees: Teaching & Learning, Audit, Risk & Resources, Health, Safety & Premises, and Pastoral. Each committee meets termly. Trustees typically serve on two of the committees, but receive minutes of all committee meetings.

The Board of Academy Trust Members consists of at least five Members and meets at least four times per year. The Members are sometimes described as the “guardians” of the governance of the Academy Trust. They have ultimate oversight of the Board of Trustees, holding Trustees to account and ensuring that the purpose of the Academy Trust is being met, whether financially or otherwise. Michael Page QPM took up the post of Chair of the Board of Academy Trust Members in Spring 2022.

Both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Academy Trust Members maintain a clear distinction between the strategic responsibilities of governance and those of operational management of the school. There is a strongly supportive, productive and challenging relationship between the Board of Trustees, the Board of Academy Trust Members and the Headteacher. A system of trustee links ensures close ties with teaching and non-teaching areas of the school.

Hitchin Boys’ School was rated Outstanding following inspection by Ofsted in 2016, and we are very proud that the school retained the judgement of Outstanding in Autumn 2021. The school works hard to retain its record of academic achievement, seeking to achieve the best possible outcomes for all its pupils. However, the school is also rightly proud of its achievements in other areas including sporting excellence, outstanding achievement in music, the performing arts, and the breadth of extra-curricular opportunities on offer.

Mr Fergal Moane left the school in summer 2003, having guided the school through the very difficult years of the Covid pandemic. We will remain indebted to him for the many developments within the school, perhaps especially for the rapid transformation in terms of accessing and integrating learning technologies, vital during the pandemic but also in setting up the school for the challenges such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) ahead.

In January 2024 we will welcome Mr Tim Bennett to become the next Headteacher of Hitchin Boys’ School. The Board of Trustees and the Board of Academy Trust Members look forward to supporting Mr Bennett in the development of the school through the next year, and beyond.

Dr Helen Corkill
December 2023

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