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Compulsory Training for School Governors in England – Inevitable?

Compulsory Training for School Governors in England – Inevitable?

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Back in May 2011 I asked “Should school governor training be compulsory?” which prompted an overwhelming number of comments on both sides.  I left a poll on our homepage asking the same question.  I’ve been scouring websites, research articles, tweeting, chatting with members of the Modern Governor community, asking on our Facebook page, discussing it with local authority governor services personnel, long-standing governors, new governors, Chairs, Clerks, governance organisations, local governor associations….everyone.  I’ve asked the same question: “Should school governor training be compulsory?”

And while I’ve been doing this, I’ve been glancing across to our Welsh counterparts as they prepare to introduce mandatory training for new school governors, Clerks and Chairs.

The majority have told me “yes”, it should be compulsory.  There are obvious concerns about how it would be delivered in these times of financial turbulence in local government.

The arguments ‘for’ are compelling:

  • All Governors would have the same level of understanding about their role
  • Governors have huge responsibilities for budgets, Headteachers performance and educational opportunities.  It’s not fair to expect Governors to shoulder these responsibilities without basic training

The arguments against are of course the age old arguments of time and money. But unless we invest in both of these, surely we are letting down those who matter most? The children?

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