The report of the largest ever survey undertaken on the state of school governance
by the University of Bath and the National Governors’ Association is published and presented to government today.
Based on a survey of over 7,500 school governors across England it estimates that the value of governors’ contribution to the education system at over £1bn. Governors of all types of schools took part, including academy governors. Findings from The State of School Governing in England 2014 highlight the increased importance of school governors under the new education system and both the challenges of governing and of recruiting volunteers. Generally governance practice is improving with more challenge of headteachers by governors, and a great commitment to training and development. The report also recommends that, although most governors are in paid employment and are professionals or managers, more should be done to organise governors on work-friendly lines, so that people in paid employment can participate easily. The report reveals that schools in disadvantaged settings or with low Ofsted grades are particularly struggling to recruit skilled people to take on the governor role – precisely where they are needed most. It is also reported that 96 per cent of respondents are white.
The publication of the report at the Guildhall coincides with the launch ofThe Inspiring Governors Alliancetoday by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, to celebrate and promote the importance of high quality school and college governance. This new alliance includes a wide range of organisations including the Government (Department for Education and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills), those representing employers (such as the CBI and FSB); governors (such as the National Governors’ Association, NCOGS and SGOSS Governors for Schools and Colleges); professional bodies (such as the AoC, ASCL, CIPD and NAHT); and numerous private, public and third sector employers
TheInspiring Governors Allianceaims to inspire more high calibre people to volunteer as governors; inspire more employers about the benefits of supporting their staff to be governors; and inspire more governing bodies to actively recruit governors for their skills.A new websitehas been created for potential volunteers, employers and governing bodies by the members of the Alliancewww.inspiringgovernors.org(live from 14thMay)
Lord Nash, Under-Secretary of State for Schoolshas said: “Because it’s more important than ever, in our increasingly competitive world, that we do all we can to give our young people the opportunities they deserve. This means tackling underperformance head-on and encouraging all schools to emulate the very best. As the people who appoint headteachers and hold them to account, you, as governors, have a vital part to play in driving this much-needed improvement and transforming our schools. Which is why it’s right that we should do more to attract more highly talented and committed governors. And why we should do more to support you to do a good job and aim higher - by which I mean, encouraging the creation of more dynamic ‘boards of governors’ as opposed to governing bodies”.
Emma Knights,Chief Executive of the National Governors’ Association,will say at the event: “Governance, whether of the BBC, the Co-operative Bank or your local school, is very challenging, and only to be embarked on with your eyes wide open. The survey of school governors in England published today, the largest ever, reports that the majority of current volunteers have professional or management backgrounds. They volunteer because they are committed to making a difference to their communities. Please join us at:www.inspiringgovernors.org.”
And thirdly,today the Department for Education publishes changesin the rules for governing bodies of local authority maintained schools which will require them to reconsider their membership and ensure they are recruiting people who bring relevant skills and experience to the table
For those of you on twitter we will be using #inspiringgovernors.