I want to begin with a huge thank you – to those of you in this room, and to governors, trustees and clerks, up and down the country.
One of our undoubted strengths as a country, a very British quality… is this sense of duty felt by communities towards our public institutions – we see our schools and the education of our children, rightly, as a shared responsibility, a shared enterprise.
But there are some people who take their share of responsibility to a much, much higher level.
What you do as governors and trustees can’t simply be measured in hours spent. Although, of course, I do also recognise it is also a large volume of hours.
But it’s also the weight of responsibility. Making budgets add up, recruiting and retaining staff, helping to set your school’s whole ethos and vision for the future.
And of course, knowing all the while that these decisions will affect children’s futures and, ultimately, our nation’s future.