Thursday, 27 January 2011

Local Authority School Governors Research

Local authority representatives

There was evidence that the role of the local authority representative was interpreted in a range of ways and to varying effect. At one School, a school in a disadvantaged setting, the local authority representative, who was a local authority councillor, was not fully committed to his governing responsibilities.

The local authority representative at another School was a parent who had been assigned that role but was unsure what its significance was and what his relationship with the local authority was to be. He was a former parent governor and his appointment as local authority governor was “all rather protracted”. It had taken several months. He thought that “maybe the letter (of appointment) got lost”. When the appointment letter finally arrived, it was brief and as a result “he was not aware of any additional responsibilities”. He checked the website but there were “no terms of reference” and “the clerk didn’t have any either”. He felt that the lack of information was because local authority governors “tended to be local councillors” – which he was not. He said: “I expected a little bit more.” Across the dataset, there was a clear sense that the local authority governor held that role in name only. Local authorities did not relate to these governors in any way beyond the initial designation. No particular responsibilities came with the title.

Taken from the Hidden Givers

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