Review by Expert Contributor

29 Sep 2018, 5:00


Julia Skinner’s top blogs of the week 24 Sep 2018

Julia Skinner will be looking out for the best blogs on school governance – so if you’re a governor, clerk or trustee, please share with your networks, and get blogging!

Why blogging matters


There is a dearth of opinion pieces by governors or about governance.  It is such a key aspect of school organisation that I am on a mission to encourage more to blog. However, before that comes to fruition, Naureen Khalid has reposted her piece on why blogging is important for governors. She explains that the voice of governors and trustees needs to be heard – and blogging is one way to get it out there.  Blogging can also be a resource of other opinions and ideas. Khalid has a talent for collating conferences too, so if you weren’t able to get to that key meeting, check this blog for a review.

Welcome on board! (is it too late to get off?)


This is a “new year” blog for new as well as more established governors. It brings into focus that schools do need to consider those volunteers who may be joining them and make sure they are supported as well as possible. The problems that schools have recruiting governors is highlighted – and the need to retain those that we already have. A useful checklist for newbies includes finding a buddy, making sure you can access the IT system and having the details of meetings. There are also suggestions that the first meeting of the year reflect on the purpose of governance. I love the new word “Volunesia (noun) – that moment when you forget you’re volunteering to help change lives because it’s changing yours”.

Letter to a departing chair

Secret Governor

This post, part of The Secret Governor series on Modern Governor, hit the spot for me. It is a salutatory reminder to all of us in education that “thank you” should be a key part of our language. The hurt that the writer saw in their colleague shines through and I hope that schools, and in particular boards, are reminded that governors, who make up the largest group of volunteers, must not only be treated with respect but shown how their contribution is valued.

Lead us not into stagnation


Governance is becoming more and more part of the focus on school improvement and this post is a rallying cry to make good use of the opportunity that being a governor presents. Comparing world leaders to the role of the chair, similarities are highlighted and not only in the area of remuneration (or lack of). The writer stresses the need for governors to be encouraged to be innovators and to share their light bulb moments as it is only together that we have any clout.

It’s Tuesday, it must be meatballs


Fee Stagg’s writing always makes me smile. Her sense of humour means that she can deliver some difficult messages in her role as a governor and clerk. In this post she reminds us that boards doing the same will get the same, which may not be best for the school. She compares jobs for the beginning of a new school year with habits, not all of them good! The ease with which boards can become complacent is likened to being spoon fed and bored. As always in her post, she ends with a “how to do” it list. Ignore them at your peril!

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