20 Sep Introducing “Governor Base”
September 12th saw the launch of a joint venture, Governor Base, set up by support services provider, Ten Group, new education services company, One Education, the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and us, school governor e-learning provider, Modern Governor. Governor Base offers a cost-effective, high-quality support package, nationwide to governors of all levels of experience.
Former Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and Employment and former Chief Executive of both Brent and Gloucestershire local authorities, Lord Bichard has been advising on the formation of the partnership and helping to develop the service model in the context of increasing pressure on local authority resources and a greater requirement for schools to act autonomously.
The partnership between a charity (the NGA), an innovative new company born out of local authority values and expertise (One Education) and two commercial providers (Ten Group and Modern Governor) is one of the first of its kind to develop in response to the need to work more efficiently within the public sector and represents a new way of working for both the public and private sector.
School governors make up the largest volunteer force in the UK. They tackle the difficult and complex tasks of supporting and challenging our schools unpaid and in their own time. Yet local support services for these 350,000 volunteers are under threat as budgets are reduced. Governor Base aims to work in partnership with local authority teams and groups of schools to supplement existing support for governors where needed.
Lord Bichard said: “I believe that high-quality support is critical to the effectiveness of school governors. The model of having duplicate support services in every local authority is expensive, and while it might have been appropriate in the past, it’s not appropriate now.
“There are now multiple cost-effective ways to deliver support services to a higher standard and on a national scale. Governor Base represents a new way forwards.”
“Many people don’t realise the complexity of the role of a school governor”, says MD Professional Support, Ten Group, Fergal Roche. “These unpaid volunteers are scrutinising school finances, difficult legal and personnel issues, school policies, and school curriculum development, among other things. Theirs is a vital role within our education system.
“Most school governors come to the role equipped with valuable professional skills learnt in another sector. This means that they have a lot to offer, but may need help to get up to speed with education issues, this is where the need for professional support comes in. Governor Base offers a comprehensive and cost-effective solution bringing in expertise from the 3rd, public and private sectors.”
Kieran McDermott, Chief Executive of One Education said: “We’re really excited about Governor Base. It was developed in consultation with governors so we know it meets their needs. I can’t think of anywhere else where governors can find the information they need all in one place.
“From time to time governors can expect to be presented with very complex and often highly emotive problems. When governors need it, they can now rely on Governor Base for experienced, credible support that helps them resolve their issues.”
Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the NGA said: “The role of school governor is an extremely critical one in ensuring the children at the school are receiving the best possible education, and it is important that schools invest in support for their governing bodies to ensure they are as effective as possible. The National Governors’ Association is pleased to be part of a collaboration which provides another route for developing strong, strategic governing bodies.”
Paul McElvaney, Director of Learning Pool which provides Modern Governor, says “We’re delighted to be part of Governor Base. There have been a lot of changes in school governance in the last year or so, which is why it’s crucial that school governors have flexible resources to help stay up to date.
“The Governor Base package is a great combination of Modern Governors’ interactive e-learning modules complemented by the Ten Governor Support helpdesk function where members can ask an expert researcher for help and ideas, and the NGA’s networking, lobbying and legal support. Everything a school governor could need.”
What does Governor Base offer?
Governor Base is available to individual schools as a total package, and as a menu of options for local authorities, academy chains and clusters of schools. The idea is that these organisations can select those parts of the offer which they either lack, or which can be provided more cost effectively via Governor Base.
Every subscriber receives the Advice and Guidance option from Ten Group and One Education and can then add in e-learning from Modern Governor, NGA membership, Local Support or New Governor Support at an additional cost.
Advice and Guidance
Practical, no-nonsense answers in response to governors’ questions
- Ten Governor Support – a 24/7helpdesk, website and support service that answers questions on all aspects of school governance
- Chair’s Advice Line – year-round advice line immediate access to an expert who can talk you through sensitive personnel or local issues
- Governing Body Meeting Termly Handbook – a handy guide to the school year
Plus the choice of all or any of the following:
- Modern Governor – 21 interactive and engaging web-based e-learning modules covering all aspects of school governance
- National Governors’ Association Membership
- NGA membership – the NGA provides timely updates on key issues for school governors as well as lobbying on their behalf
- Access to a local governor association / local networking events organised by One Education
New Governor Support
- Face to face induction training for all new governors provided by One Education
- ‘Welcome to Governance’ induction pack for all new governors created by the NGA