About Karen Powell

I am passionate about governance and it has always been a privilege to work with dedicated, volunteer governors, assisting them in developing their knowledge, skills and evidence. I have also been delighted to play a key role in helping Trusts to develop their Trust Boards and local governance. I have written many schemes of delegation for academy trusts and developed over eight local governance handbooks.

School governance and school improvement has been part of my life for over 20 years. Effective School Governance Ltd is now in its seventh year and by developing my own company I have been able to work with clients all over the country and work with different and wide-ranging governing bodies, schools, academies and multi-academy trusts. I am delighted to be a regular conference speaker and trainer - currently delivering training and support for governors in Plymouth and for The White Horse Federation schools across Swindon, Oxford and Wiltshire, training for West Gloucestershire Support Partnership as well as working regularly with the Dioceses of Plymouth, Exeter and Gloucester.

As a Safer Recruitment accredited trainer I also deliver approximately 20 courses per year for senior leaders, business managers and governors. I also specialise in safeguarding training for governors and am an Ambassador for CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) who work across the UK tackling child sex abuse.

Before starting up Effective School Governance Ltd I spent seven years as the Governor Development Officer for Plymouth Local Authority supporting and developing the work of governors and clerks in over 100 schools and working with schools in all categories. During this time I secured and held the national Customer Service Excellence award for 6 years. I planned professional development training programmes for governors; devising and delivering courses on a range of school improvement issues. I developed a range of resources which supported governance improvement including governance annual plans, governor action plans and self-evaluation tools.

My career started in banking and then led to accountancy. I am still a Company Secretary of a large residential property development and have a secure understanding of Company Law.

I am a Chair of governors in a Special School and a local governor of an academy which is part of a MAT. I also had 6 years clerking experience for over 10 schools.

The work of governors and Trustees can impact the life chances of our children and young people. I am delighted to play my part in this work.
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Recent achievements

Supporting governing bodies through headship recruitment and successfully making appointments
Working with clerks to governing bodies - increasing their skills and effectiveness
Helping new Chairs and watching them grow in confidence
Being the first governance team to gain the new Customer Service Excellence standard in the country and receiving a letter from the Prime Minister congratulating me

What our clients say...

Karen has a vast amount of experience working in church schools and has a good knowledge and understanding of the Christian Distinctiveness. Karen has a very professional and confidential manner in the delivery of training and approach to advice and support to church schools. Karen has always maintained a very good working partnership with the diocese in all...

Christina Mabin, School Admissions and Governance Adviser, Diocese
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