Struggle for a grip on governance as academy status beckons

18th June 2010 at 01:00

Richard Gold's letter, "Ways to loosen a governor's grip", offers no solution for heads when a chair of governors crosses into operational school activity. "Reasonable" is hard to define and no head really wants conflict with the chair of governors.

But what about voluntary aided (VA) schools, where the governing body is also the employer? A governor's dual role here enables him or her to get around the test of reasonableness by wearing the employer's hat instead. Governance is significant in a school's improvement, but governance regulations are weak and the Guide to the Law for School Governors is only guidance. Governance needs to be reviewed, and the reliance on reasonableness as a solution removed. Governors of a VA school should lose the advantage of employer status, which would clarify their role. Heads should be left to lead schools and governors to challenge, account and remain strategic.

Simon Gwynn, St Albans, Herts.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today