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Get tough with unprofessional governors, schools told

Schools should be prepared to get tough with governors who fail to fulfil their responsibilities, a minister has warned.

In a letter sent to all chairs of governors today, schools minister Lord Nash advises governing bodies to be prepared to suspend any governors who fail to attend training sessions or uphold their school’s “professional ethos”.

While insisting that there has “never been a better or more important time to serve as a governor", Lord Nash calls on chairs to ensure that members of and clerks to their governing body undertake “appropriate high quality induction and ongoing training and development”.

“Most governors will recognise the need for and be willing to undertake suitable training,” he writes. “Some, however, may not. A misunderstanding of the nature of their role or lack of skills to deliver it effectively may lead to a governor bringing the governing body into disrepute or acting outside of the professional ethos I would expect you to maintain. Should this occur, the governor may be suspended from their duties while the situation is addressed.”

The minister, who chairs the Future Academies chain and sits on the governing bodies of all four of its schools, also extols the strategic benefits of multi-academy trusts and federations.

“Governance structures spanning more than one school can have significant benefits, including giving the board a more strategic perspective and the ability to compare and contrast between schools to create even more robust accountability. I believe these benefits are greatest in an academy context,” he adds.

Related stories:

Universities should help recruit school governors - July 2014

Survey reveals full dissatisfaction of England's governors - May 2014

School governors should act more like 'corporate boards' overseeing big business - Jan 2014


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