Amateur governance? We keep you balanced

24th June 2011 at 01:00

We are disappointed that the stance of TES editor Gerard Kelly is to take potshots at school governors, to whip up fears and pander to discontents ("We've spent too much making governance local and not enough making it effective", 10 June).

The challenges facing governors are well-rehearsed and well-researched. Most recently, an Ofsted study of outstanding governing bodies found that in those schools, "headteachers provided high quality, accurate information ... focused on pupil achievement" and described "relationships based on trust, openness and transparency ... governors consistently ask for more information, explanation or clarification".

Giving your readers a better understanding of school governance will help them see governor questioning as robust challenge, not interference; the giving of voluntary time as commitment, not amateurishness; the lay perspective that they bring as enriching debate, not contributing the ignorance of busybodies.

We do not deny that there are some ineffective governing bodies and room for improvement in many more. The NCOGS (National Co-ordinators of Governor Services) manifesto published earlier this year points out the importance of training to ensure that governors understand their role and carry it out in ways which help headteachers lead their schools.

Bridget Sinclair, Governor support manager and NCOGS chair, Swindon.

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