The National Association of Governors and Managers' cards are snappy, handy guides to 10 common topics. They come as A5-size green and white cards. You can buy them in packs of 10 (same topic or the full range) at pound;7.50 a pack with a reduction for multiple buying.
Their information is available elsewhere, not least in NAGM's authoritative papers. But they capture the essence of each subject, give sound, practical advice in an easily digested formats. Subjects include self-evaluation, planning, pupil progress, budget, head's report, committees, meetings, policies, induction and special-responsibility governors. Each card is laid out in a similar way, starting with an overall summary followed by questions and answers.
The quality and practicality of the advice is high. The suggested questions to explore the head's report are sharp and well-focused. I was also pleased to read: "A good head's report will look to the future rather than report only what has already happened." The literacy governor's job description is a helpful model of special responsibilities.
I assume the target audience is new governors and, perhaps, more experienced colleagues who need a quick reminder. The topics chosen are of varying complexity and some leave you wanting more information.
With deregulation of school governance on the near horizon, these cards may have a short shelf life, though the common sense that permeates them will not go out of style.
SmartCards are available from the National Association of Governors and Managers, tel 0121 643 5787, pound;7.50 per pack of 10