Monday, 22 October 2018 - About Academyupdate | Rss

The Changing Face of Governance

The Changing Face of Governance

It is fair to say that School Governance is changing. Whether you are a maintained school or an academy, the role of a governor is evolving. Lord Nash is effectively wanting “professional governors”. A smaller GB but whose governors contribute to all sub-committees.

Gone are the days of a governor wearing the role as a badge, attending only a few times per year, not understanding the beating heart of the school and only contributing by endorsing the Head’s wishes during a vote. Governors should contribute more effectively to a school. We are the single largest group of volunteers in the country and we operate in one of the most important arenas – children’s education.

I have never liked the phrase “critical friend”. What we governors do is Watchdog, Mediator, Champion. Critical friend is just one small part of one of these.

GB’s, more than ever, now need to understand all aspects of education and their own school better. GB’s should be asking themselves “What do we know? What don’t we know? What strategies must we put in place to bridge the gap between the first two?”

Self Evaluation is just the start. Skill’s Audits are just a mechanism to move forward. It isn’t enough to conduct an audit and do nothing substantial with the findings. The important work is what the GB does after a Self Evaluation or Skill’s Audit. How the GB organises training on the gaps it has highlighted of itself. Is it a lack of understanding data? Is it a lack of financial understanding? What skills does the GB feel it needs moving forward and who would be the best person to fill that gap?

Good governors are not solely those who have been one for many years. Yes, experience counts but only if that governor contributes effectively. It is not about challenge for challenge sake. It is about the GB improving its strategic role to supplement the education in the school. Schools not only teach, they help mould fine individual children who can converse, play sport, are academic and therefore become well-rounded individuals for future life. Governors play a part in this. We are a piece of the jigsaw that helps this process. We need to be the best we can be. It will not only benefit the school by being a better governor, you will gain so much from being one.

Jeff Marshall

MD, J&G Marshall Ltd, NLG






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