Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The future of governance

Fiona Millar's article about governance in the Grauniad makes interesting reading.

Now this is an issue that deeply interests me so here is my twopenn'orth. I see a possibility to both increase stakeholder involvement and reduce the size of GBs. Why reduce the size? No compelling reason beyond a recognition that in many (most?) GBs there are a number of 'sitting members' - they are members and they sit in meetings and that's all - who contribute remarkably little. Now you could argue that there is a recruitment and training issue there and I would agree, however the pragmatist in me also recognises that those issues will not be fixed quickly.

What I suggest is a two-tier system with:
  1. a smaller (no more than 9?) 'Executive GB' which has the statutory responsibility and whose members are required to undergo induction and ongoing training (CPD if you like); this EGB might, only might, have a paid Chair and this may be especially important in larger schools with substantial budgets etc
  2. a statutorily required series of larger stakeholder forums, each chaired by a GB member, whose role is to sense and explore the views/needs of the broader stakeholder group.

So the governors of the future will need competence in consultation/engagement processes in addition to everything they already need to know. At risk of repeating myself - we are dealing with the future of our society here, let's make sure that it is in the hands of competent committed governors.

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