Further Education specialist Fiona Chalk named Governance Champion of the Year

London, 27 November 2020 – Fiona Chalk, Governance Consultant & Trainer at Governance4FE has been named Governance Champion of the Year by ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, the professional body for governance. Fiona, founder of Governance4FE, a community organisation that specialises solely in Further Education governance, received the award for the work that she has done to improve outcomes for students by increasing the effectiveness of those tasked with the oversight of governance in the further education and skills sector.

Fiona was crowned the winner at a virtual awards ceremony organised by the Institute on 26 November, seeing off strong competition from Julian Baddeley, Deputy Group Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel at Aviva plc who was Highly Commended for his work. John Doherty, Senior Legal Analyst, Subsidiary Governance at Pramerica Systems Ireland Limited; Seamus Gillen, Director, Value Alpha Limited; Marie Livingston, Society Secretary at The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland; and Amanda Williams, Head of Strategic Change Approvals at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency were also shortlisted for the award.

Revealing why the judges chose Fiona as Governance Champion of the Year, Sara Drake, Chief Executive of the Institute says:

“Fiona’s work is oriented around servicing the Further Education sector, a sector in which governance is perhaps less well supported and represented than in schools and academies.

Her nomination describes someone of vision and energy, a writer, trainer, mentor and leader motivated by a strong streak of altruism and an understanding of the link between good governance and outcomes for pupils and students. Fiona clearly has a positive impact upon the people and organisations with whom she works and as such embodies the qualities for which our judges were looking in a Governance Champion of the Year.”

Governance Champion of the Year was a new category at this year’s Awards. Sara explains why it was introduced.

“Across all parts of the economy, dedicated individuals such as Fiona and those shortlisted are having a positive and sustained impact on governance, often going above and beyond to encourage, support or lead the adoption of effective governance. We introduced this new category to celebrate that achievement and recognise those individuals who are making a significant impact. While we haven’t been able to host our usual Awards dinner this year because of COVID-19, I am delighted that we have been able to celebrate their accomplishments virtually. All of those shortlisted should feel immense pride in the fact that they were nominated.”

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Chartered Governance Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. With a Royal Charter purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’, we provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership, and work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards.

    The Institute has divisions in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong/China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Southern Africa, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. The division headquartered in London (known as ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute) represents and supports members in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Crown Dependencies and associated territories, which include the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. Website: www.icsa.org.uk 
  2. About the Awards: ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute Awards ceremony is the largest event of its kind in the UK and the highlight of the governance social calendar. Each year, the Awards bring together the crème de la crème of the governance profession to celebrate excellence in the delivery, oversight and reporting of governance. Nominees reflect the very best achievement from across the governance community. The 2020 Awards ceremony took a socially distanced approach and was hosted virtually. The Awards this year also focussed on people and projects rather than reporting achievements, with Awards given out in nine main categories, three of which were new this year: Governance Champion of the Year (new), Governance Professional of the Year, Company Secretary of the Year, The One to Watch, Team of the Year, Service Provider of the Year, Governance Project of the Year, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year (new) and ESG Initiative of the Year (new).
  3. About Governance4fe: Governance4fe’s purpose is to improve outcomes for students by increasing the effectiveness of those tasked with the oversight of governance in the further education and skills sector. It aims to do this by providing advice, guidance, training, sophisticated software tools, and support services to improve the effectiveness of governance within further educational institutions. Website: https://governance4fe.co.uk 
  4. About Fiona: As an alumnus of the Governance Leadership Programme through ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute and a certified trainer and governance consultant, Fiona works as a dynamic influencer and supporter of educational governance. She is the founder of Governance4fe, a published author for the Further Education Trust for Leadership, and a member of the British Educational Leadership, Management, and Administration Society.

    Having spent 20 years working with Boards in corporate settings, in local government, and the third sector (with the last 15 years primarily working on governance in education), Fiona has a considerable understanding of what effective governance looks like, as well as excellent strategic leadership skills to deliver such.

    Her experience includes being Director of Governance and Group Company Secretary for one of the largest FE college groups in the sector, a current governor and trustee, taking educational establishments to Ofsted Outstanding in governance, undertaking board evaluations, delivering training to governance professionals and senior leaders, providing mentoring and coaching across the school, FE and HE sectors, and providing expert governance advice on several mergers within the FE college sector. She is also owner and moderator of the FE Clerks online network.

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