Sunday, 19 June 2011

Professionalisation of Clerking: Addressing accountability

Benefits to governing bodies and schools

Enhanced status, powers and responsibilities for clerks to governing bodies would provide the following direct benefits to governing bodies and schools:

Free governing bodies and headteachers from areas that sap time and energy and which divert them from the strategic agenda.

Clarification of communication routes.

A neutral bridge between schools and their communities.

Governing bodies employing clerks meeting nationally agreed standards could be confident that they had the professional support and guidance needed to fulfil their hugely significant but nevertheless volunteer role.

Headteachers would be relieved of the burden of trying to guide less effective governing bodies and/or provide clerks from their staffing complement.

Removal of conflict of interests: clerks employed at the school in other roles are often under pressure from other staff to disclose confidential information.

If implemented these proposals would need to be underpinned by clearly defined national criteria and a statutory requirement for accreditation and training for clerks to governing bodies. Clerks could continue to be appointed by governing bodies through most of the existing wide range of paths.

This article is based on a paper shared at the Co-ordinators of Governor Services (COGS) conference 2010.

Written by: David Marriott

About the author

David Marriott is an education consultant specialising in governance and school leadership.

Taken from School Governor Update

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