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Is Red Tape Good for School Governors?

Is Red Tape Good for School Governors?

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Following our last post about the suggestion that heads of governing bodies should be paid, school governor and e-learning expert Donald Clark posted a comment suggesting that red tape, not pay, was the issue:

“A better approach would be to reduce the time and money spent on outlandish amounts of paperwork and policies that Governors have to chew through at each meeting. Rather than tackle the main issues an problems, Governors are, for the most part, going through the motions of signing off dull, over-written, cliche-ridden documents.”

It goes without saying that everyone hates red tape and going through the motions – and time spent on paperwork and policies, is, for the most part, time not spent addressing real school issues.

But is there an argument FOR paperwork and policy?

Just to play Devil’s Advocate (albeit rather half-heartedly), the 1988 Education Act increased the powers of school governors – and as Spiderman would say, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.

Assuming that additional powers for school governors are a good thing, are the accompanying added duties simply par for the course – and therefore worth the effort?

Or (and this is the real point)

Do we need to find a way to minimise the paperwork while still retaining the responsibilities?

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  • Shane McCracken
    Posted at 13:10h, 07 September Reply

    Why does responsibility = red tape?

    The problem with the red tape and cliche ridden bureaucracy is that governors don’t spend the time looking at the real and important issues. They spend it more feeding the machine with it’s forms and policies.

  • cyberdoyle
    Posted at 13:19h, 07 September Reply

    I was a governor for many years, and chairman of the governors during the period of change. It was horrendous. The good work we were doing for our school was hampered by the form filling, courses and other red tape claptrap we had to deal with. I sincerely hope that anyone with power to influence a decrease in such bureaucratic junk puts a stop to it. Nobody becomes a governor to deal with paper, they do it to enrich the lives of the children and staff, and look after the interests of the school. Yes they do have large responsibilities, but that does not mean large boxes of useless spinspeak and mumbo jumbo. Just KISS. (keep it simple, stupid). Yes by all means, ‘minimise the paperwork while still retaining the responsibilities’ gets my vote. Let the governors get on with the job they want to do, don’t stifle their spirit with cliche ridden junk.

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