Sunday, 26 June 2011

Who Governs the Governors: Accountability and sanctions

At the end of May, Neil Carmichael MP and Edward Wild published a report called 'Who Governs the Governors'

Accountability and sanctions

We need a more structured, systematic approach to internal auditing. The head and governing body must work together to deliver on set targets – both qualitative and quantitative.

The Schools White Paper highlights: “[there is a] need to make it easier for parents and the public to hold schools to account.

In the past, too much information has been unavailable to parents, too difficult to find or not presented comprehensibly.”

We want parents to be able to make a more informed choice about the schools they choose and the opportunity to ensure that it meets their expectations.

This will be a move away from nationally regulated provision of education; we are now looking toward local solutions and services for local communities. Information about the education services provided must become more easily available:

Furthermore, the board needs to become adept at self-evaluation and review, particularly if members are elected by virtue of their skills set rather than through a representative structure. Boards should become self-regulatory with an external eye.

‘Accountability for performance’ is a key aspect of the Policy Exchange’s paper

‘Blocking the Best – Obstacles to new independent schools’11, which highlights increasing “[a] fair and rigorous framework for monitoring educational standards and holding schools to account for their performance [as] an essential component of a successful education system”. This must be flexible enough to allow for innovation, which will be a complex but crucial balance to strike.

We would argue that in the event that a governing body demonstrably fails to deliver its obligations to the staff and pupils, then mechanisms put in place should give the majority of parents the opportunity to vote to force a resignation of chair or – in extreme cases – full boards.

Failing boards may have an even more detrimental impact on schools than failing teachers by their inability or unwillingness to take decisive action. This situation should be changed and the opportunities which the White Paper presents should be seized by forward looking schools.

A full copy of the report can be found here

1 comment:

  1. There seems to be a need for regulation of governors, especially in the independent sector.
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