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Governor Live: Governance in the light of the White Paper

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Governor Live: Governance in the light of the White Paper

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Governor Live logoOn the evening of the 21st of March our Governor Live panel explored the implications for school governance in the light of the White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere. If you were unable to attend, then this post gives the resources shared from the event.

Originally focused around the issue of payment for school governors, the topic was broadened in the light of the White Paper – but payment for governors still featured in the discussions of both the panel and the participants in the room. The panel of Ruth Agnew, Nigel Gann, Gerard Kelly, Andy Kent and Emma Knights each gave a brief, single-slide presentation on their reflections on the White Paper and what it mean for governance. They also posed questions for individual governors and governing boards and the discussion ranged from whether lay governance was inherently better than paid governance, the critical role of the chair, whether the corporate nature of governance could be likened to fascist Italy and whether we’ll be referring to anyone involved in the leadership of a school as a governor in the future. Participating in and informing the discussion were chairs of governors, vice-chairs, parents and colleagues from local authority governor services – their anonymised comments, questions and reflections are included in the recordings detailed below.

Documents referenced

As part of the panel’s micropresentations a number of documents were registered – you can access those here:


Questions from the panel for individual governors
  • If you were governing at your best what would that look like? If you were paid for your time would it help facilitate that?
  • What do I want for children in my local school? What composition and location of governance is most likely to provide that?
  • Is what you are doing in the school’s best, long-term interest?
  • Am I up to speed on the policy direction, and am I able/wish to be part of these changes?

Questions from the panel for governing boards
  • Do you have a plan for the next 2-3 years which includes cementing partnerships?
  • Whose school is it anyway? What do we, and our community, believe constitutes ‘quality’ schooling?
  • Do you have the skills to cope with rapid change?
  • How can we as governors rapidly develop a forum with school leaders locally to explore options for partnership & shared vision &direction?

Viewing the recording

There are two versions of the recording.

Fully interactive version

The first is a fully-interactive version, which features a control panel through which it’s possible to search for a word or phrase in the text transcript and click on links in the panel’s slides.  This requires Adobe Flash and therefore will not work on most mobile devices.

» View the interactive Flash-based recording.

Mobile-friendly YouTube version

The second version is on the Modern Governor YouTube channel and will therefore work on most devices, including smartphones and tablets. It is embedded below or alternatively you can follow the link. The Description field for a YouTube video is too small to allow the entire transcript of the participants’ discussions to be inserted into it, so if you want to search, copy or scroll through that then you’ll need to view the Flash version above, or watch it move past as the YouTube video plays.

» View the recording on the Modern Governor YouTube channel.

Further events for a changing landscape

Many thanks to all of the participants for taking part – commenting on the issues, reflecting on their own experience, challenging the panellists & one another – and to our panel for providing much stimulus and food for thought. We plan on running further Governor Live events to support schools, chairs and boards as they navigate the changing landscape of governance as we move towards 2020 and beyond, so if you’d like to suggest topics for future editions of Governor Live then please get in touch.


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