13 Nov Book review: How to survive as a governor in a church school 
An extract from the book How to survive as a governor in a church school – written by Alexandra Green and published by Redemptorist Publications – is now available in the Modern Governor mobile app for Android and iOS. To highlight this – and to examine some of the issues which are unique to governors in church schools – two governors have reviewed the book.
A review of How to survive as a governor in a church school
This rather beautiful little book is aimed at all governors in Church of England and Church in Wales schools. It goes back to basics setting out the history behind church schools and explains the unique demands of governing in this setting.
There are useful chapters which outline the role of the governor and particular challenges that will be faced, as well as preparing for Ofsted and SIAMS inspections. I found the chapter on induction, review and self-evaluation especially useful and there were some excellent resources, including the review and self-evaluation form, which goes beyond the standard ones available and homes in on the needs of a governor in a church school setting and the focus on ‘mission’.
Personally I found that the book was a little too general in places and I would have liked to have seen more of the tables and bullet-pointed box-outs. Whilst interesting, I think the book would actually have been stronger without the detailed history chapter. Despite this, the book is a very good introduction to the role of governance in a church school and is a pleasure to read, with lovely illustrations and layout.
All governors in church schools must recognise that their role is to uphold the Christian distinctiveness of their school – even if they are not foundation governors. What many governors, even those who are practising Christians, might find difficult is the book’s heavy emphasis on Christian philosophy – with regular biblical texts grounding sections in Christian ethos, an approach which might alienate some. However, as a governor in a voluntary aided Church of England school and a practising Christian, I welcome this book and found its approach helpful and refreshing. I feel sure that if every governor on your governing board read this book and took on board its principles and suggestions, then your school would be well on its way to being rated as Outstanding in a SIAMS inspection!
Read Chapter 3 of the book at no cost
The full text of chapter 3 of How to survive as a governor in a church school is available in the free Modern Governor mobile app now, including a printable version of the book’s skills audit. To download the app and read the extracts from this and other books on governance, along with the reader of governance blogs and the offline, searchable and cross-reference glossary of educational terms, simply visit moderngovernor.com/app.
To download updated content – including the extract from this and other books – simply update the app’s content once you’ve installed it.