Some do-gooders govern outstandingly well

2nd March 2012 at 00:00

Lord Knight makes the point that "by and large, school governors are great, but the governing bodies are not. They need to be reformed." ("Do-gooder governors must now do better", 24 February.) How enlightened - but hardly news.

Various publications have concurred that, as the latest education White Paper put it, "to date, governors have not received the recognition, support or attention that they deserve".

The rhetoric is right, but action has yet to be fully aligned to recognise the professional skills, knowledge and expertise contributed by "do-gooder" governors.

What Lord Knight put forward is an idea already better known as system leadership and generally promoted as the most effective and efficient mechanism of strategic leadership for schools.

He reports that "elsewhere in the public sector, non-executive board members tend to be paid and are professionally recruited". I would agree that this isn't yet a typical feature of school governance, but it has been applied successfully within Bradley Stoke Community School to inform its conversion to join the Olympus Academy Trust, which was launched this year.

Our governance framework is explicit in clarifying roles and responsibilities - consequently, it is not by chance that the school was awarded a judgement of "outstanding" for governance, and overall, in its last inspection.

Claire Emery, Chair of directors, Olympus Academy Trust.

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