A number of factors lead to the formation of the Association in 1995. Governing Bodies had been given increasing responsibilities in the preceding years, not least the control of the finances of our schools. This had coincided with reducing resources (in real terms) meaning increasing numbers of Sheffield schools found themselves having difficulty setting a balanced budget. There was a feeling of frustration and some anger - on the one hand more to do on the other less resources to discharge our responsibilities.
The National Governors’ Council had been formed in 1994 and in 1995 Jack Morrish, Vice Chair of NGC, was invited to Sheffield to address governors about forming Associations which would then affiliate to NGC. This would give governing bodies a powerful national body which would gain access to decision makers and speak with authority and their behalf.
A few governors were inspired to do this in Sheffield and thus set about writing a Constitution (with the help of models provided by NGC) and then rapidly wrote to all governing bodies in the city asking them to join. The initial response was in the region of 45% which rapidly rose to 60+0/0 and upwards over the next couple of years. Eventually it was agreed that the membership for all Sheffield schools would be paid for centrally via a retained part of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).
Originally SASGB was organised into clusters based on the existing cluster arrangements in the city. After a few years when it became apparent that attendance at meetings was not good we combined Clusters, which eventually became Districts/ Localities. Currently termly sector meetings are held for Chairs of Governors in Primary, Secondary and Special schools and there is an Annual General Meeting to which all governors are invited.
Governing bodies are asked to nominate a SASGB representative who can attend meetings of the executive committee and vote at the AGM. Each term governing bodies are invited to send queries or issues of concern to us which we then raise with the local authority.
The Executive Committee consists of the following Officers, a Chair, two Vice-Chairs, Treasurer, Secretary, plus other governors representing all sectors. Some of these are governors who represent SASGB on the various committees, task groups and panels which discuss and take decisions on issues of concern to schools.
The Executive Committee meets twice a term to receive reports from Officers and those who represent the association. It also sets the agenda for the meetings with the local authority via the Governors Strategy and Policy Partnership Group. This meeting is the opportunity to raise issues, make suggestions on policy and also to receive reports from the local authority about future plans for education and children's services in the city.
The Association has sought to raise the profile of governing bodies in the city and has developed a strong partnership with both the local authority and headteachers' representative groups.
As a result of the independence, we always strive to maintain our high reputation and have provided support and advice to governing bodies who have issues with the local authority.
The funds we receive primarily pay the expenses of officers of the Association in representing governors and have in the past supported the distribution of a termly newsletter. However, rising print costs and a review of the effectiveness of a printed newsletter have led the Executive Committee to invest in an independent website which we can more effectively keep up to date and offers immediacy of contact in a timely fashion with all governing bodies.