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Profile28th February 2024

Ken Bromfield – over 50 years as a school governor

With over 50 years of service, Ken Bromfield is one of the country’s longest-serving school governors – an accomplishment that earned him the Compassionate Governance award from the London Diocesan Board for Schools in 2022. Ken is currently a Diocese Representative and Careers & Work-Related Link Governor at Ark Burlington Danes. He shares what has kept him engaged and motivated throughout his tenure.

Ken’s early career

Ken was born just 350 yards away from Ark Burlington Danes, in Hammersmith Hospital. When Ken was young, a “wonderful teacher” discovered and nurtured his passion for learning, which drove him to aim for a grammar school. He succeeded in the 11plus prize at St Clement Danes (Ark Burlington Danes’ predecessor). A technical science and technology career led him to various roles, including training and development. Ken’s participation in education and related voluntary activities eventually led to his nomination as a school governor over five decades ago.

The evolution of motivation

Initially, Ken’s motivation as a governor was functional, attending meetings and supporting the school’s proceedings. However, his perspective shifted following the launch of Local Management of Schools and when he became a governor at his children’s school and later chair of governors. The personal connection to his children’s education ignited a new level of interest and involvement.

An epiphany

Ken’s journey took a transformative turn when he became the London University governor at Burlington Danes School. It was here that he fully grasped the challenges faced by students from less privileged backgrounds, with limited resources and fewer opportunities. He recognised his own childhood in their circumstances, but questioned the disparity of their outcomes. He could see the transformative role that his inspirational primary school teacher had played, and how vital that positive influence can be in a young person’s life. This realisation became the driving force behind Ken’s enduring commitment to education governance.

Contributions and achievements

Ken’s contributions as a governor extend beyond routine responsibilities. He says: “As someone who understands young people’s challenges and the impact of good education and great teachers, I believe that we can make a real difference in their lives.” His involvement in exclusion meetings across the Ark network demonstrates his dedication to finding compassionate and effective solutions for students facing challenges. Ken’s emphasis on understanding the whole child is testament to his commitment to inclusivity and support.

Innovative approaches to education

Ken’s passion for enhancing education goes beyond governance. He researches and discusses innovative ideas that add value to the student education experience. His creation of the Finance Game, published by the Edge Foundation, is an approach to financial education that reflects his inquisitive outlook. Ken remains energised and committed to continuous learning, and his perspective on ‘useful’ retirement reflects a deep sense of purpose.

My driving force has been to continue learning and growing. To be an effective governor, you must look beyond the papers before you and delve deeper into the issue. A significant aspect of my work involves examining how education contributes to our country’s economy. I am committed to improving how we educate our children and actively seek to influence this process.

Are you interested in becoming a school governor?

Find out more about how you can get involved.