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Essential skills of a School Governor & measuring a Governing Body

Essential skills of a School Governor & measuring a Governing Body

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Hotly debated at the Governor Live Open Space Sessions last week were the topics of what the essential skills of a School Governor were and how the effectiveness of a Governing Body should be measured.

Suggested topics for Governor Live Open Space SessionsSo, what skills should a School Governor have? Naturally, numeracy and literacy feature on the government’s list on what they think the right skills are. Bearing this in mind, a School Governor should not be seen as a source of free work.

Keynote for #GovernorLive, NGA Chief Executive Emma Knights, believes the possession of analytical and team-working skills are crucial for School Governors. Plus, it’s important that a Board of Governors works together for the greater good of the School.

Softer versus harder skills

In the past there may have been an emphasis on softer skills but in today’s world there is an increasing demand for harder skills. For example, each Board of Governors needs at least one data geek. Governors who know what good management looks like and can bring in skills from the other parts of their life is a must.

For example, a Chair that has the expertise to balance issues is paramount. So, to ensure that Governors have essential skills like this, it raises the question should they be appraised? In the charity sector, trustees are appraised on an annual basis.

Twenty key questions for a school governing body to ask itself

National Governors' Association's Emma KnightsIf the Governing Board didn’t exist – how would it be affected? To help answer this question, the NGA have hosted a guidance document on twenty key questions for a school governing body to ask itself.

View the twenty key questions here

These questions should enable every governing body to challenge its own practice and, if the answers derive from a genuine discussion based on the evidence available, decide when and how improvements can be made. 

What about the Governor Mark?

Governor Mark is an NGA approved quality standard for Governing Bodies. The quality mark is a non-prescriptive framework, which recognises that there are many approaches to achieving sustainable excellence in school governance within the leadership and management structure of the school.

Read more about the Governor Mark

Knowledge is power

Governing Boards must have dialogue with their stakeholders – community. They have to know what parents think and report back to them. Some even invite consultations from the children. Knowledge about knowing the school is paramount.

Ensure that you have the essential skills that it takes to be a School Governor by trialling the 28 modules in the Modern Governor catalogue free for 30 days here.


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