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Governor Live Review: performing a SWOT analysis of your school

Governor Live Review: performing a SWOT analysis of your school

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The final Governor Live event of the 2016-17 academic year – Performing a SWOT analysis of your school – took place on the evening of Thursday the 15th of June.  Christine Bayliss of C:BECS was the guest presenter for this event and, together with Modern Governor’s Ian Usher, led participants in a workshop to help them analyse their own school objectively.

The workshop used anonymised data from a maintained infants school to give governors a worked-through example of how data and information readily-available to governing bodies can be used to support some objective thinking around the area of academisation.

Here are the sections of the workshop:

  • Why do a SWOT analysis…?
  • Option appraisal
  • Anytown Infants School
    • Aims of the school
    • Self-assessment by the headteacher
    • Academic standards (followed by a simple SWOT assessment by participants)
    • Resources including human & financial (further SWOT assessment)
    • Capacity of the school’s LA to support local schools (further SWOT assessment)
    • Pattern of MAT provision in local area (further SWOT assessment)
  • In-depth overall SWOT analysis
  • Options for Anytown Infants School

Our usual time of questions and discussion was spread throughout the session, the recording of which and slides from are below.

How the session worked

After an introduction from Christine, we looked at an overview of Anytown Infants School – a real-life-but-anonymised infant school in the south of England. We looked at the headteacher’s assessment of the school, before looking at the academic performance. At this point participants in the session were asked to decide if they saw the school’s academic situation as a strength or weakness (which in a SWOT analysis are both qualities normally associated with internal factors), and additionally if it qualified as an opportunity or threat (which both traditionally arise from external factors in a SWOT analysis).

This exercise – looking at data and exploring which element(s) of SWOT it could be judged as being) was repeated for the school’s resource position (financial and human resources), its LA’s ability to support schools in the area, and finally the local provision in terms of the nature of the MATs such a school could possibly join, if leading a new MAT was not an option.

After this cycle we took an overview of the simple picture this left us with, and then participants were able to examine the data in more details at their own pace and build up a more comprehensive picture of where the school was in terms of a SWOT analysis.

Presentation slides

Here are the slides from Christine’s presentation, reproduced and shared with permission:

Watch the recording

There are two options for viewing the recording. The first is on the Modern Governor Adobe Connect server, and allows you to search the text of the slides and discussion between participants during the event. This requires the Adobe Flash Player and therefore won’t work on a smartphone or tablet. If you attended the live event on your computer, then you’ll be able to watch this version on the same or a similar computer.

A more accessible but less interactive version of the recording is available on the Modern Governor YouTube channel – please note that due to some delays on internet connectivity at the time of the recording, there is some overlap in Christine and Ian’s audio – this doesn’t affect the overall recording, and it’s still usable. 

What participants thought

The feedback from this session was incredibly positive – even more so than from our previous events, where after each session 100% of attendees said they’d recommend the sessions to their colleagues:

Review this season of Governor Live

If you missed some (or all) of the Governor Live events throughout the Spring and Summer terms, then you can review and revisit them in a number of ways:

Review articles on this blog

Browse all of the articles on this blog – the Governor Live Review posts are part of the broader Governor Live series.

Watch the recordings via YouTube

The Modern Governor YouTube channel hosts the Governor Live recordings, including a number of specific playlists:

Image credit: based on an image by Kaique RochaCC0 from

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