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:
- 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
- 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.