Amateur governance? We keep you balanced

24th June 2011 at 01:00

In answer to the question of professionalisation of governors, I would like to see a system that continues to rely on the services of volunteers.

Never have we asked for so much, while offering so little, to school governors. We expect governors to balance, challenge and support; we ask that they comply, scrutinise - even "academise". All this at a time when local authorities are cutting governor services.

Over the past months I have been involved in testing a new model of governor support in the North West. Manchester City Council has brokered a support package including local and National Governor Association memberships, online training from Modern Governor, and a question-answering service from Ten Governor Support.

Manchester has blended the best of public and private to find a long-term, scalable solution to this issue. I will be writing to every local authority to set out Manchester's model and underline the importance of high-quality support for governors, which I believe will have a far greater impact on "effectiveness" than professionalisation.

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