Meet the winner - Phil Harris-Bridge

Phil Harris-Bridge, Castle View Academy is the winner of the governor award

The recent Teach Portsmouth Awards was a fantastic event showcasing the very best education professionals in Portsmouth. The event took place at the Portsmouth Guildhall on Thursday 29 June.  The introduction of two new categories this year for governor and early years and childcare enabled more diverse education professionals and volunteers to be recognised at the event. 

Phil has been a governor for nearly 30 years and is delighted to have won the governor award this year. We hear why he became a governor and why it is important for the work governors do to be recognised at the Teach Portsmouth awards. He welcomed the new award as a reflection of all the work of volunteer governors across the city.

Read more to find out what else Phil says about being a governor. 

Thank you, Phil, for talking to us about the Teach Portsmouth awards. How did you feel when you found out you had been nominated?

Surprised but delighted. The award reflected the huge amount of work and commitment from the whole Castle View Academy team over the past 4 years which resulted in a "GOOD" rating from Ofsted in June 2022. This nomination is for everyone who contributed to make this happen. 

What does it mean to win the award and where do you think you will keep your trophy?

It's a source of enormous pride to win the governor of the year award 2023, for myself, for Castle View Academy and for the whole academy team.  

Initially the trophy will be visible in the Castle View Academy reception until the end of term, then it will take pride of place in my home study.

How important are events like the Teach Portsmouth Awards in recognising achievements in education?

The awards are enormously important to recognise the amazing contribution those who work in our schools and academies make to developing students into the ambitious, rounded, aspiring citizens of our future.

It is fantastic to say a public "thank you, we value you" to those working in the education sector. 

Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to support a school in your governor role?

I've been a school governor for nearly 30 years, in a variety of settings helping schools and academies address several performance-related concerns or challenges. 

Education is our society's future, which means that giving today's students the very best education possible, is investing in the future of our communities and society at large. 

My primary objective as a governor is to help the schools I work with be consistently the very best they can be for their, students and staff.

What would you say to anyone who is thinking about volunteering at a school? Particularly as a governor?

Do it now, don't hesitate!

It is a myth that school governors need to know everything about education and commit a lot of time. This volunteering role works around your commitments and you learn a lot on the job. 

Most schools have governor vacancies. Contact the clerk to the governing board for an informal discussion or look at the school's website for vacancies. Have a list of questions to ask such as how often are the meetings and at what time of day; what training will you receive; are my skillset/life experience of use? 

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