Steve Barker

Head of Governance, Strictly Education 4S 

Steve is the Head of the Governance Consultancy Team at Strictly Education 4S and has a national reputation as a governance expert. He is an experienced and regular speaker at national and regional governor conferences, has had articles published in National titles and been interviewed as a governance expert on the Radio 4 Today Programme on several occasions. Steve has contributed to many national governance initiatives, including being part of the team commissioned by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to develop External Reviews of Governance. Steve has also served on the NCTL Advisory Board on Governance.

The Governance Team in Dorking which Steve leads, work with over 700 schools across Surrey and West and Central London, supporting more than 6000 governors and clerks, in delivering effective governance in their schools. Steve has considerable personal experience in developing and facilitating governor development sessions on a diverse range of governance issues. 

Steve became a governor in 2000 and has, through concurrent terms of office, amassed 63 years of governance experience. He is currently chair of the Governing Body at Bagshot Infant School, Chair of the Governing Body and Chair of the Academy Trust at Collingwood College, an 11-18 converter academy in Camberley, Surrey, with almost 1,900 pupils, and a member of the Ravenscote Multi-Academy Trust. He has been a Local Authority Additionally Appointed Governor in 11 schools, including two as a member of an Interim Executive Board (IEB) and chaired one IEB himself.

Steve was appointed as a National Leader of Governance (NLG) in 2012 and served as an NLG Advocate in 2013 -14. Steve has conducted more than 30 Reviews of Governance and been deployed to five schools as an NLG.

Steve is a qualified Performance Coach and in addition to one-to-one coaching of school leaders and governors, he is an accredited tutor for the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) regularly delivering coaching training within educational settings.

In addition to his governance and coaching experience, Steve is a former Ofsted Lay Inspector and is an accredited safeguarding trainer for Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board.

  • How does governance change you join a MAT? Webinar (May 2018)

    This Better Governor webinar reflects on how governance changes when schools convert to academy status and join a multi-academy trust.

    May 2018

  • Chairs' Network- What Constitutes 'Part 2' Webinar (May 2018)

    This Better Governor Chairs’ Network webinar, is an opportunity for chairs of governing bodies, academy trusts and chairs of local academy committees to come together and discuss topical issues, with our resident governance experts in a structured debate. 

    May 2018

  • Better Governor Podcast – Headteacher Appraisal

    This short podcast features two of our governance experts, Steve Barker and Ruth Murton, discussing Headteacher Appraisal.

    June 2018

  • Governance of Safeguarding (June 2018)

    This Better Governor webinar focuses on the safeguarding in 2018 reflecting not just the changes in the new Keeping Children Safe in Education, for September 2018, but also looking at emerging themes in the ever-changing challenge of safeguarding children and young people.

    June 2018

  • Chairs' Development Programme Cohort #1 Unit 2 (June 2018)

    This short webinar, facilitated by Ruth Murton builds on Session One and encourages you to reflect on your learning so far.

    June 2018

  • Considering becoming the Chair? (June 2018)

    This Better Governor webinar explores the role of the chair of the governing body/trust board/local academy committee and the expectations of the position, from the perspective of governors and trustees who are considering or planning to put themselves forward for election, either as Chair or co-Chair.

    June 2018

  • Chairs' Network What Constitutes part 2 (June 2018)

    This Chairs' Network webinar provided the opportunity for chairs, co-chairs and others who were interested, to come together and explore topical issues that are relevant to the leadership of governance in schools and academy trusts.

    June 2018

  • Ensuring the needs of disadvantaged pupils are met (June 2018)

    This Better Governor webinar explores how governors, trustees and those serving on Local Academy Committees ensure the needs of disadvantaged pupils are met within their schools.

    June 2018

  • Confidentiality and Part 2 Minutes (June 2018)

    This Better Governor webinar focused on the confidentiality within governance. We reflected on the use of Part Two minutes, when confidentiality is appropriate, how long certain matters should remain confidential and who has access to minutes of part two discussions.

    June 2018

  • Teachers’ Pay to increase in September 2018

    The School Teachers’ Review Body 2018 report is published and the Department for Education has released a news story announcing that the Government is to fund pay rises for teachers.

    July 2018


Cyber-security in Schools

On the 15th July the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), in association with the DfE, published new guidance on managing cyber-security risks in schools.