Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The importance of Training as a School Governor

As part of my role as Parent Governor Representative on Surrey’s Education, Learning and Development Select I asked a public question early this year about how many Surrey School Governors took part in formal training during the previous year. The answer from Surrey’s governance partners Babcock 4S was as follows:

• 1,522 governors (26%) of all Surrey Governors took part in the main School Governor training programme.

• 59% of new governors undertook induction training

• 50% of all schools participated in a whole governing body training session.

At the time the report was compiled there were 5793 School Governors in Surrey.

I don’t know how this compares with other Local Authorities but I suspect it is maybe above average in some areas.

The review on School governance earlier this year under the last government recommended:

• Improved governor training and mandatory training for chairs of governing bodies.

• All governing bodies to have a trained clerk.

• All members of governing bodies should have access to high quality training and induction.

• A new national training programme for chairs of governors, developed in close cooperation with a range of partners.

Much of this has been repeated in the recent Schools White Paper

However, training should not just be for new governors, clerks and chairs.

It is just as important that all school governors who have been in post for years attend training on a regular basis.

Although Babcock 4S on behalf of Surrey County Council run an excellent face to face training programme, there is still room for Online Governor training to complement rather than replace face to face training.

My first experience of Governor online training was Safer Recruitment at http://tinyurl.com/SaferRecruitment by Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC).

When the Safer Recruitment training was launched it was plagued with technical issues and many governors found the assessment/test at the end impossible to pass even when they knew the answers. I had to retake the test myself 10 times before scoring the necessary C grade.

My other two experiences of Governor Online training have been GEL & Modern Governor.

Surrey recently agreed a deal with GEL to supply Online Governor Training to all Surrey Governors


I have also had the opportunity to demo some excellent courses on Modern Governor.


I am sure there are some other equally good training platforms for School Governors but I haven’t experienced them yet. Happy to do so if they make a demo available.

It is all about life long learning!

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