Saturday, 15 January 2011

The difference between Governing in high and low attainment schools

Governing in high and low attainment schools

Recruitment, induction and training

Schools in low attainment settings are likely to have fewer potential governing body members available to them. There may be a range of explanations for this finding. One possible finding is that low attainment schools are not held in high regard by potential governors. Such schools may be located in settings where schools are not highly valued generally. This assertion could explain both low pupil attainment and the lack of potential governors. The effect of this finding on recruitment is likely to be moderated by other factors. These include the resources that are committed to finding potential governors regardless of the setting.

The governing body task

There is no significant difference between the way governors on governing bodies of high attainment schools and those of low attainment schools describe their task. One explanation of this finding is that the task of governing is specified and governors draw on those specifications to describe what they do.

Governing body functioning

Governing bodies of high and low attainment schools broadly function in the same way. This similarity of functioning may be because the governing bodies in both kinds of schools have generally similar functions to perform.

Governors in schools with low attainment find it more challenging balancing their role as a governor with other responsibilities. One interpretation of this finding is that schools with low attainment have fewer potential governing body recruits available to them (see above). They are therefore likely to recruit members who already have a range of other commitments.

Effectiveness and impact

Governors in governing bodies of high attainment schools are more likely to think their governing body works very effectively. This difference may be because governing bodies of high attainment schools overall do have an effect on performance and thus consider themselves to be effective.

The effectiveness of primary school governing bodies has a positive link with pupil attainment but there is no clear link between secondary schools’governing body effectiveness and pupil attainment. This finding is an outcome of the multi-level analysis. That the level of governing body effectiveness only correlates with pupil attainment in primary schools and not in secondary schools is a very important finding. It is consistent with the interpretation that primary school governing is ‘closer to the operations’ of the school, a finding that was borne out by the case study data.

This research was taken from The full 'Hidden Givers' A study of School Governing bodies which can be found linked below.

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