Thursday, 16 June 2011

Why the Professionalisation of clerking is essential in raising standards of governance


In the next few years government policy is likely to result in a smaller public sector and many more schools operating independently of local authority control, either individually or in various forms of collaborative arrangements. For that independence to prosper, it must be based on solid foundations. Increasingly, schools will have to maximise their own resources in a more open market for support services.

In responding to the increasing demand on schools to be more business-like, the role of the professional school business manager as a key member of the school's leadership team has evolved in recent years from what was once a rather lowly post within an admin team in the school office. A parallel development has occurred in governing bodies, whereby the humble note-taker has become a professional clerk, often employed by a local authority clerking service. Recent reports recommend that this evolution should go further – but without saying how.

Comparisons are often made between governing bodies and boards of directors. The parallels aren't exact but there is some validity in the observation. To the extent that it is true, the role of the governing body clerk should be similar to that of company secretary.

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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