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Guest Blog: What it's like giving evidence

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By Pamela Birch, Member of the Headteacher Board for the North West and West Yorkshire, and Headteacher, Hambleton Primary Academy.

On Wednesday 21st October 2015 I gave evidence to the Commons Select Committee for Education on “The Role of the Regional Schools Commissioners.”

As an elected membePamela Birchr of the Head Teacher Board for the North West and West Yorkshire, (and a serving Headteacher), I was the only witness not to have a “national” profile and I quickly realized that my co-witnesses were all very experienced evidence-givers!

I was therefore somewhat daunted by the formal surroundings and the reputations of my esteemed colleagues, but after two minutes of feeling tongue-tied, I decided I needed to find my voice! After all, I had been invited to TALK, and I was the only witness with direct experience of working on an HTB with a Regional Schools Commissioner. The other witnesses were each representing their members and had opinions about the role of the RSCs rather than actual knowledge of how the Head Teacher Boards function.

And it was fine! The MPs were well-briefed, interested and even humorous! It also helped that my friend and cousin were both sitting right behind me – moral support for me, and a fascinating morning for them too.

It was a privilege to be invited, to be asked for my views on a topic for which I feel great passion, and to contribute to a national debate.

Back at my school, the children watched citizenship in action!

Watch Pamela give evidence as part of the inquiry into the role of Regional Schools Commissioners on Parliament TV.

For more information on the role of Regional Schools Commissioners, visit the inquiry page on our website.

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