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Questions for governors from the Inspiring Governors regional event

The auditorium at Murray Edwards College for the Inspiring Governors regional event

Questions for governors from the Inspiring Governors regional event

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Inspiring GovernorsWednesday the 17th of September saw the East of England Inspiring Governors event, held at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge.  Inspiring Governors is a government-backed alliance launched in May 2014 to “celebrate and promote the importance of high quality school and college governance”. It includes partners from the education and business communities who share a recognition of the benefits of  On hand were Lord Nash (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools), Emma Knights (Chief Executive of the National Governors Association), Nick Chambers (from charity the Education and Employer Taskforce) and representatives from Lloyds Bank and KPMG.

 After an introduction by Nick Chambers, Lord Nash and Ian Buss from Lloyds Bank & SGOSS (the School Governors One Stop Shop) gave introductory remarks before the first panel discussion of the morning. Ian Buss focused on the benefits that having staff who were governors brought to a business – and emphasised that it wasn’t just about the much-touted CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) but also to do with increased confidence and competence at work for those who volunteered as governors. You can listen to his remarks and those of others cited here in the playlist above.

Emma Knights from the NGA talked about the importance of governing bodies engaging with employers and also being very clear about what the expectations of a new governor might be.  She also said that governing bodies need to become smarter about recruitment and that on the whole governors are reluctant to challenge other governors to hold them to account. During the panel discussions the issue of mandatory induction training (and further training) for governors was raised – the DfE is clear that y it will not make this statutory, but the view of the NGA is that this has to take place for all new governors.

The day raised at least as many questions as it answered – here are some you and your fellow governors might like to consider:

  • does your governing body interview prospective governors?
  • is there a view within your school that the ‘educational professionals’ (paid staff) have all the skills, knowledge and expertise and the ‘amateurs’ (volunteer governors) are bereft of this in comparison?
  • are new governors aware of what their commitment to being a governor might entail?
  • have you had governors who joined and then realised after a couple of meetings that they couldn’t manage being a governor? If so, did you address the issues around this for anyone joining in the future?
  • is your governing body clear on the difference between governance and representation in terms of parent governors?

If you’re an employer and  would like to find out more about how enabling your staff to volunteer as school governors can benefit both the community and your business, then future Inspiring Governors events will be listed on the Inspiring Governors web site.  One of the most useful resources that the alliance brings together is the collection of Key Resources & Reports with evidence on the impact of vokunteering as a governor.

If you’re a governing body and want to provide training for any new governors at your school, or updates for existing governors, then you can browse the catalogue of  governor training modules available from Modern Governor or sign up for a free 30 day trial to see how it can help develop the knowledge and understanding of your fellow governors.

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