Review by Julia Skinner

Retired head and founder of the 100 Word Challenge

23 Nov 2019, 5:00


Julia Skinner’s top edu-blogs of the week, 18 November 2019

Governing our schools: 10 years on


You would expect changes in most things over ten years, and this post identifies some of those experienced by governors. The report at the heart of this piece identifies ten key issues for the sector, and although the conclusion that governance in schools is strengthening, some issues still need to be tackled. Emma Knights emphasises the voluntary nature of our board members, and touches on mandatory induction — which still has not been brought in, mainly because of lack of funding. The complexity of the work now expected to be covered by this huge army of volunteers can deter new governors, but having a clearer demarcation of roles has certainly brought a much-needed clarity.


Vice-chairs matter


What does it feel like to be No 2 rather than No 1 in an organisation? Often, you are there to step in when No 1 is not available, but in the case of school governance, that is probably not going to be often. However, that shouldn’t lead to complacency. If you do have to deputise, are you going to know what to do? In this post, Naureen Khalid outlines the importance of a properly trained vice-chair post that is not just for “stand-in times”, but has its own status and purpose. With governing boards having so much to do nowadays, it seems like a good use of talent and provides some reassurance for succession.


I want to be the governor I never had


In this GovernorHub Q&A, the teacher, school leader and author Ross McGill reveals his new role as a co-opted governor. Not an especially momentous announcement, yet McGill generated quite a storm on Facebook. The point of the post is to encourage more people to take up governorship, especially as McGill has such a high profile, but it does include criticism of the boards that the author worked with. Unfortunately, his criticisms of those governing boards appear to stem from a misunderstanding of the role of governors, at least according to the governors who took umbrage with him across social media. A short and poetic response to his comments can be found here. They make a good pair, and you can make your own mind up.


We’re all going on a governance hunt


This light-hearted take on the Michael Rosen favourite We’re Going on a Bear Hunt does hold some key messages for those considering becoming a governor. Within the clever rhymes and repetitions are the key areas that concern governing boards, with some pertinent thoughts of their impact. Approaching some of the very important areas of governance in this way may well put a smile on faces around the board.

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