As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to welcome you to Hitchin Boys’ School. The School, founded in 1632, has a very long and proud tradition of educating the boys of Hitchin and its 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 Articles of Association of the Trust were updated in 2021, as a result of which, “Governors” became known as “Trustees”. All Trustees are still also governors of the School. There are 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 or commerce. The Headteacher is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.
The full Board of Trustees normally meets six times per year, unless there is a special requirement for an additional meeting. In addition, there are five committees which report to the Board of Trustees: Teaching and Learning, Audit, Risk and Resources, Health, Safety and Premises, and Pastoral. Each committee meets termly. Trustees typically serve on two committees but they receive minutes of all committee meetings.
In addition to the Board of Trustees, there is also a Board of Academy Trust Members. The Board of Academy Trust Members consists of at least five Members and meets 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 has taken up the post of Chair of the Board of Academy Trust Members from 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 governor links ensures close ties and understanding 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 continues its established record of excellent 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 and the performing arts, and the breadth of extra-curricular activities on offer.
Hitchin Boys’ School is a successful and popular school, a school which acknowledges its history and traditions but keeps pace with the fast-moving modern world in which we live. The Board of Trustees and the Board of Academy Trust Members look forward to supporting the development of the School through the next year, and beyond.
Dr Helen CorkillMarch 2022