25 Jun News from the NGA: Sir Michael Wilshaw, NGA Policy Conference, 16 June 2012
Modern Governor was in the audience of the NGA Policy conference where HMCI Sir Michael Wilshaw was the keynote speaker. He began: “I am optimistic about what we can do if we learn from our best teachers, headteachers and governors – those who are never satisfied until their schools are as good as they can be.
Together, I hope we can do much more to close gaps in standards for pupils from different backgrounds. I also know that this is your mission as governors as well.” He set out three reasons for his optimism, one of which was “ strong governance is increasingly transforming schools and building effective partnerships.” He went onto explain the forthcoming changes to the Ofsted framework, and outlined a renewed emphasis on governance:
“We are taking our inspection of governance very seriously. It will feature prominently in the new inspection handbook and training for inspectors on this issue will take place in July… inspectors will comment on the strengths and weaknesses in the governing body’s work and identify any key areas for improvement… the evaluation will focus on how governors ensure the school has a clear strategic direction. It will examine how governors support and challenge school leaders and hold them to account for the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement, behaviour and safety. It will also cover the management of finances, including the use of the pupil premium to overcome barriers to learning… Inspectors will focus much more on the robustness of performance management in a school and judge whether there is a direct correlation between the quality of teaching and salary progression. They will ask to see reports to the governing board on this and anonymised data on salary… where a school both requires improvement and also has weak leadership and management, inspectors may recommend that there should be an external review of governance arrangements.”
Sir Michael answered questions from delegates and promised to consider a number of issues, the use of governors as inspectors, the involvement of the NGA in the training of inspectors, and the timing of end of inspection feedback sessions so that governors can attend. NGA will be meeting with HMCI again to discuss these and other issues.
All of the presentations from the conference can be found on the event page of the NGA website, including the transcript of Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech.