Board of Governors/Trustees

The Board of Governors of The British School, Alexandria is comprised of leading professionals and experts from the sectors of education, business, construction and legal affairs.

Should you wish to contact the Board of Governors, please send an e-mail via the Board Clerk on board@bsalex.net.

Board of Governors

Principal

Justin Blakebrough

Mr Justin Blakebrough took on the role of Principal of The British School in August 2015.  Mr Blakebrough has 34 years of teaching experience in British education, both in the independent and state sectors, as well as three years’ teaching in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He has recently been Headteacher of a very successful  11-18 comprehensive school in Chester in the North West of England for eight years.  He studied Electronic Physics and Philosophy at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth before completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Bristol University. This was later followed by gaining a Master of Arts in Educational Management at York University and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).  He is married and has two children, one who attends The British School and the other who lives in England.  He has a range of interests including music, independent travel and skiing.

Board of Trustees

Performance Management

Paul Walton

Mr Paul Walton works in the headquarters of the Anna Lindh Foundation, an international institution promoting trans-Mediterranean cooperation in the fields of education, culture, media and conflict resolution. Prior to the Foundation, Paul was co-Founder and Executive Director of the award-winning organisation Global Voice UK and has managed multi-country projects on behalf of the European Union, League of Arab States and United Nations.

Education Development

Eleanore Hargreaves

Dr. Eleanore Hargreaves is a Reader in Learning and Pedagogy at the UCL Institute of Education, London University, UK.  Before joining the UCL Institute of Education, she was a teacher at the British School in Alexandria from 1986-8.  She is currently supporting teachers' professional development in underprivileged schools in Alexandria and has recently carried out interview research with Egyptian primary pupils in those schools.

Audit, Legal & Finance

Magdi El Garf

Mr Magdi El Garf is the chairman of an Alexandria-based leading development company which focuses on industrial and housing projects. An academically trained architect, Magdi worked in the past for a number of companies in Egypt and in the United Kingdom, and has a specialist interest in eco-development projects. Magdi is also the elected chair of the Egyptian-British Association in Alexandria.

Educational Advisor

Gerard Flynn

Mr Gerard Flynn is a former British International School head teacher who has a long connection with BSA, firstly as a colleague and now as an educational advisor. In 2010 he was awarded an MBE for services to education and charitable works in Egypt. At BSA he has been involved in Principal Appraisal, Pre-Inspection Training and he also assisted in the recruitment of the present Principal. He is an experienced school inspector, school development partner and trained mentor. 

Quotes from our recent Inspection Report

“The quality of governance is excellent. The governance, restructured in 2011 to provide more effective control of the school and its strategic direction, provides more effective control of the school and its strategic direction, provides extremely effective oversight of the school thereby enabling the school’s aims to be met. The school’s strategic vision is ambitious, and the excellent standard of governance is built on comprehensive knowledge of the workings of the school (..)” Inspection Report by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), 2016.

What the school does well?

There are many strengths at the school, including the following:
1) The governance role fulfilled by the board is of a high quality. 
Inspection Report by British Schools Overseas (BSO) Penta, 2019.

Governance at the British School, Alexandria has received international recognition as a model of outstanding practice. This is the benchmark to continuing investment in good governance to support the long-development of the School and its ongoing capacity for outstanding teaching and learning.

The governance policy and structure reflects the nature of The British School as a not-for-profit organisation, registered as a trust foundation with the Charity Commission in England, and operating in Alexandria, Egypt in the framework of the Cultural Agreement co-signed between the Egyptian Government and British Government.

The Trust is administered by a committee of Trustees who are accountable to the Charity Commission in England, and the overall management and development of the School in Alexandria is administered by a Board of Governors together with the appointed Principal/CEO. Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador to Egypt is the Patron of the School.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the profiles of current Board members and Trustees?

All the profiles are published and updated on the governance section of the website. Click here:

http://www.bsalex.net/governance

What is the composition of the Board of Governors?

The standard composition consists of: co-opted governors elected to the Board; the Principal/CEO; and the British Deputy Ambassador. The co-opted governors are on average around 12 individuals, with a balanced composition (experience, gender, cultural background, parent/non-parent).

The School’s Head of Finance and Director of Operations are invited to attend full Governor meetings but they remain non-voting members. Elected staff, parent, and student representatives provide in put to the Governance structure, principally through the Sub-committee on ‘Students, Learning and Staffing’.

What are the main responsibilities of the Board of Governors?

The Board of Governors monitors and supports the implementation of the School’s strategic and school development plan in partnership with the Principal and Trustees. The main responsibilities of the Board are:

  • Act as a “critical friend” to the Principal – in other words they hold the Principal to account but at the same time support the Principal.
  • Know what is happening with regard to the running of the school so that they can intervene if necessary but they would not normally be involved in the day-to-day running of the school.
  • Ensure that the school meets all legal obligations.
  • Ensure that the school is effective and doing its best for the education as well as ensuring the welfare of the students in accordance with the aims and values of the school.
  • Ensure a secure future for the school in accordance with the values and aims of the school as well as a secure future in terms of the school’s finances.

How are Governors elected?

In line with the Governance Policy, the School will publicise recruitment processes for Board members, principally through the School’s website and communications to the school community; current Governors are also responsible for pro-actively contributing to this process. The recruitment should specify priority areas of expertise and experience identified at the level of Governance.

Short-listing of governors is carried out by a committee of the Board, typically composed also of the Chair and the Vice-Chair, based on the advertised criteria. The short-list is presented to the full Board and to the Trustees for final review. All elected governors have a term of 3 years, at the end of wish they can seek re-appointment.

How can parents contribute to the decision-making of the Board?

A Parents Focus Group takes place at least once per term involving SMT and Board members where parents are chosen randomly from each class to present their views/concerns about the teaching and learning at the BSA.

How can students contribute to the decision-making of the Board?

There are 2 student representatives (normally the Head boy and Head girl) who meet with the Principal once every half-term to discuss any issues raised by students or the principal. The two student representatives attend part of the “Students Learning and Staffing Committee”.

How often does the Board of Governors meet and who attends these meetings?

The Board holds regular Board meetings once a term whilst the school is in session, and not less than 3 times per year. Regular meetings are attended by Board members only, unless other persons have been specifically invited to give a presentation to the Board in relation to proposals put before the Board. The regular Board meetings are also attended by the Clerk to the Board, who is a non-voting attendee with a range of responsibilities such as formulating the Board agenda in association with the Chairperson, taking and circulating the minutes of all meetings of the Board and maintaining the official copy of the Policies Manual.

What are the different committees attended by The Board of Governors?

There are three main sub-committees that drive the work of the Board of Governors:

1. Students Learning & Staffing Committee

This committee is responsible for scrutinizing the following areas:

  • Curriculum including curriculum enrichment – Recent and Future Developments – this could include presentations from Heads of Department and Subject Co-ordinators to keep governors updated
  • Student Admissions – Policies / Procedures
  • Student Achievements including Examination Results and extra-curricular achievements
  • Learning and Teaching – Recent and Future Developments (including SEN/More Able)
  • Pastoral, Welfare and Safeguarding (not Health  & Safety) of students
  • Staffing updates including new staff and any issues
  • Staff Liaison Report
  • Staff welfare including staffing questionnaire for new staff in the Autumn term
  • Recruitment
  • Staff Development (CPD)
  • Performance Management
  • Other HR matters including staff contracts and staffing issues / effectiveness / attendance

2. Campus and Health & Safety

This committee is responsible for scrutinizing the following areas:

  • The Campus and Buildings and their suitability and quality
  • The Health and Safety of staff, students and visitors to the school including:
  • Buildings, Campus, Medical, first aid issues, Critical Incidents, Security and Trips.

3. Finance and Legal

This committee is responsible for scrutinizing the following areas:

  • The current and future financial security of the school and assessment of risk
  • Ensuring that proper financial procedures are in place in accordance with legal requirements and to prevent losses due to fraud or incompetence.
  • Receiving and scrutinising an annual auditors report
  • Ensuring best-value i.e. that our finances are used to best effect.
  • Agreeing the budget each year and monitoring on a regular basis whether expenditure and income is in line with the budget throughout the financial year including bank balances and forecasts.
  • Agreeing the fees

What are the responsibilities of the Trustees?

In line with the policies of the Charity Commission in England, the Trustees are responsible for ensuring compliance to the Commission, including ensuring that the charity’s resources are use for the established charitable purposes of the Trust.

More specific duties include: Performance Management, monitoring and supporting the work of the Board of Governors and Principal/CEO; Recruitment policy for the Principal/CEO; Legal policies related to compliance with the Charity Commission and British Company Law; Monitoring of the School strategic development plan and financial management policies; Reviewing the vision and aims of the school, on average every 3 years; Opening up international opportunities to support the school’s overall development.

What is the criteria for appointing Trustees?

The Trustees of The British School should have a long-term association to the School and demonstrated their capacity to act with independence and in the interests of the School’s strategic development. Current Trustees include former members of the Board of Governors who have held senior leadership positions as Governors, and educationalists associated to the School during its 30 year+ history.