BELMAS Blog

Member of the Month: Naureen Khalid

28.03.19

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Author: Nicola Mellor

Welcome to our brand new feature, celebrating you – our #BELMASFamily!  

Each month we’ll introduce you to one of your fellow members, highlighting who they are, what they do and what makes them tick. Our aim with this feature is for our BELMAS family to get better acquainted and to connect those who have similar fields of interest.

For our Member of the Month debut, we’re chatting to the brilliant Naureen Khalid; Mum, Governor, MAT trustee, blogger, co-founder of @UKGovChat and active member of our Governance and Governing RIG. Let’s dive in…

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Hi Naureen! How did you start out in education and what eventually drew you to becoming a governor?

After completing my Masters in Genetics, I joined the University of Karachi’s Department of Genetics as a Lecturer. After a few years of teaching I enrolled at the world-renowned John Innes Centre, Norwich, and completed my MPhil in Applied Genetics.

I had always planned to return to teaching after my studies, but just before I submitted my thesis, I married and became a mother. I wanted to see my little girl grow and reach all her milestones, so I decided not to go back to work. When my second and third daughters came along, it was very important to me that all three received an equal amount of attention from me, so I continued to be a stay-at-home mum.

When my youngest started primary school, a parent governor vacancy arose at my eldest daughter’s secondary school. I discussed what the role and commitment was with the Chair of Governors. It appeared to be an interesting role and was an opportunity to get back into education but in a role which allowed me to continue being a mum at home. I decided to stand for election, was elected and joined the governing body.

What, in your opinion, is the best thing about your role?

As a governor, you become part of a body whose function is to both shape the strategic, long term future of the school and also monitor the present to make sure that these long term goals are delivered. It is a role with an underlying responsibility to ensure that every child receives the best education; an education they deserve.

Can you tell us a little about why you started your blog, Governing Matters, and what readers can expect to see there?

In 2012 I joined Twitter to follow Shena Lewington who used to tweet on all things governance. Soon after joining Twitter I found that some of the conversations I engaged in needed more than 140 characters (Twitter’s character limit at that time) to do them justice. Having read Shena’s blog (Clerk to Governors) and few others like Teaching Battleground, I decided to try my hand at blogging and Governing Matters was born. Over the six years it has been in existence the number of followers has grown considerably.

I use my blog to highlight issues which may be of interest to other governors. For example, I’ve asked Ofsted to clarify certain issues and published their response on my blog. I also blog about best practise examples such as how to carry out a monitoring visit. I regularly attend conferences and blog about them so that people who weren’t able to attend can get a flavour of the discussions that took place. I also write about issues governors should be thinking about, for example staff well-being. I also use my blog as a repository for important documents and links to other publications.

You’re also the co-founder of #UKGovChat – can you tell us more about what this is and how it works?

In 2013, Jo Penn, a fellow governor, and I set up @UKGovChat. This is a Twitter account for governors. It fulfils two functions. One is the regular Sunday night Twitter chats and the other is to provide an online forum for sharing best practice and for support and challenge. It is a great way of connecting with governors from all over the country. It has grown in popularity and now has over 4,500 followers. It is also signposted in the Governance handbook published by the Department for Education.

The weekly #UKGovChat takes place on Sunday nights. During these half hour chats a topic, which has been announced beforehand, is discussed. People take part in the chat by following the hashtag and joining in. Tweets are then collated using Wakelet so people can refer back to them when needed.

What first attracted you to BELMAS? And what do you consider to be the biggest benefit of being a member?

I met Professor Chris James at a conference and he mentioned BELMAS. I looked at the website and liked what I saw and when I found that there was a Governance and Governing in Education Research Interest Group (RIG) I was sold!

BELMAS is an independent organisation supporting quality education through effective leadership. As governors are leaders who aim to do the same, I think there is huge benefit in joining BELMAS. Personally, I enjoy attending the RIG meetings, which afford the opportunity to find out about research being conducted into various aspects of governance and being part of a community interested in governance. The journals are a great resource too. I’ve also enjoyed taking part in #BELMASchat on Twitter.

Has being a BELMAS member had any influence on your practice? If so, how?

I think it has made me more reflective. After attending the RIG meetings, I usually reflect on my practice. I also do a lot of reading around the subject of governance and the journals have been helpful in this. Being a member has also allowed me to connect with researchers working in the field of governance.

Finally, can you tell us something about yourself, completely unrelated to education?

That’s a hard one! I’ve lived in two continents, three countries and speak/understand, to various degrees, four languages.

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Just recently, Naureen was invited to speak at Research ED Birmingham, which is a grassroots organisation which aims to increase awareness of research and evidence in the teaching profession. In June, she will be attending the Festival of Education at Wellington College, as well as BrewEd Essex, another grassroots movement. Her aim in attending and presenting at these events is to try and increase governance literature across the sector. 

For more from Naureen, you can follow her on Twitter @5Naureen or check out her blog, Governing Matters. To have your say in the next #UKGovChat, follow @UKGovChat on Twitter or visit the website.

All our thanks to Naureen for being our first BELMAS Member of the Month. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you and wish you all the best for your upcoming events!

 

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