Reforms to the way school governors are selected are to be implemented by the government in a bid to drive up standards.
Under the new system, announced yesterday (January 13th), governors will only be appointed to a role if they have the necessary skills and experience to improve school performance. Governing bodies will be required to act more like corporate boards when selecting suitable candidates for a position.
Schools minister Lord Nash said: "The best businesses have a skilful board of directors keeping them on the right path. I want to see the same approach in schools. Our proposals will ensure governing bodies in local authority-run schools have the people they need to drive up standards."
Academies and free schools have been free to select the best candidates for a role but local authority-run schools have not been required to focus on the skills of prospective governors.
The vital role of governing bodies as non-executive strategic leaders is emphasised in new guidance published by the government, which details the core functions of governors for the first time.
Lord Nash stated that governors play a vital role in setting standards and that strengthening governing bodies will encourage aspiration among schoolchildren.
Several organisations are currently collaborating with the government to ensure more high-calibre candidates are identified for governing roles and to encourage staff to volunteer.
The Confederation of British Industry, National Governors’ Association, the Education and Employers Taskforce and the school governor recruitment charity School Governors' One-Stop Shop are all working to attract such individuals.
Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governors’ Association, lent her support to the reforms and pointed to the close parallels between being a school governor and non-executive director of a trust or company.
"Organisations with good governance do not fail, and we need to ensure that schools have the best governance possible," she commented.
She added that ensuring schools have the best governors requires the recruitment of a diverse group of candidates with the time, skills and experience necessary to do the job well.
Posted by Harriet McGowan