Sunderland school governor is a leading light

From left, Ethan Boyd, Faith Nicholls, Jackie Murray, governor at Benedict Biscop CE Academy, Lily Bogan, Paula Thompson, principal of Benedict Biscop,  Zak Knight and Jasmine Pannu.
From left, Ethan Boyd, Faith Nicholls, Jackie Murray, governor at Benedict Biscop CE Academy, Lily Bogan, Paula Thompson, principal of Benedict Biscop, Zak Knight and Jasmine Pannu.
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Pupils and staff at a Wearside primary are celebrating a governor becoming a national leader in education.

Jackie Murray, a governor at Benedict Biscop CE Academy, has been selected as a National Leader of Governance, NLG, by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

I was fortunate enough to go to a wonderful CE school, which gave me the building blocks to succeed in life.

Jackie Murray

The role is part of the Government’s plan to use the skills of highly-effective school governors to support and improve the performance of other schools and academies.

Retired NHS public health specialist Jackie, who lives in Durham, has been dedicated to supporting and improving schools within the Durham Diocese for more than 15 years.

Jackie said: “I was fortunate enough to go to a wonderful CE school which gave me the building blocks to succeed in life.

“Now I am in a position to be able to help other schools by sharing my knowledge of support, leadership and management so that they can give their children the same life values to move on from school as aspiring, confident young people.”

Paula Thompson, principal of Benedict Biscop CE Academy, one of the lead schools in the Prince Bishop Teaching School Alliance, nominated Jackie for the role as an NLG.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted that Jackie’s dedication and commitment to the education of so many children across the North of England has been recognised at a national level.

“Jackie’s focus on school strategic development and developing a sustainable model of governance has influenced the improvement of several schools which has been recognised through the achievement of awards and by Ofsted.

“We are very proud of her achievements and wish her every success, as she continues to secure excellent outcomes for all of our children in church schools across the northern region.”

Jackie started her school governing career when she retired and her vicar suggested she might like to help out as a school governor.

She said: “I found that volunteering as a governor offered me a fulfilling challenge.

“Within 18 months I had become chairman of governors and was approached to become a member of the Board of Education for the Durham Diocese, of which I am vice-chairman.”

Jackie was then asked to offer her support and expertise in leadership and management to a school in South Tyneside, which had been put into special measures, the result saw her awarded regional governor of the year at the National Teaching Awards in 2007.