What school governance looks like in 2020

There are over 300,000 governors across the UK, each bringing with them skills and experience from all walks of life. One thing they all have in common is the passion for seeing their school succeed.

What is often overlooked is that governance is voluntary, yet more responsibility and accountability is being placed on governors than ever before.

The role of governance, just like the education system, is constantly changing. We reached out to school governors to get their views on this subject and how the landscape has changed.

Kevin Holland, Chair of Governors at Mulbarton Primary School in Norfolk, has been a governor for quite a few years and says the key change over time had been the increased expectations on the governing body as a whole. “Even though it is not a full-time job, it is a commitment and it does carry an accountability which must be understood from the start. Monitoring visits, attending important school events and functions, and supporting the school throughout the year are all fundamental to the role.”

Andy Heald, Parent Governor at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Wigan says “The role has changed a lot within my time. My aim is to positively challenge the school, in particular the head teacher, to ensure the school makes continuous progress.”

Does past experience play a part?

The role of governance draws on many people from many different walks of life, all with their own set of skills to bring to the table. It is imperative that governors listen to each other and work together to benefit from the varying experience, knowledge and skill sets each of them has.

“…it is really key to listen well, take on board all opinions and to critically decide on what will most positively impact the school and the children it serves.”

Kevin Holland, Chair of Governors

With his strong background in education, business management and PE, Andy Heald told us, “Schools operate far more like a business than before, so my experience of managing finances has offered direct support to the school. My specialist knowledge in PE is also utilised as a lead governor for the subject and for guiding the school on the specific expectations of the Sport Premium.”

CPD in governance

In most professions, CPD is an important factor; but is this the same for governing?

“It is extremely important to keep up to date with statutory developments in the education sector, as well as your own CPD” says Kevin Holland, who has attended various training sessions covering the role of a Chair of Governors through to finances and safeguarding. “As much as the content was useful, the opportunity to speak to other governors had great benefits too.”

Andy Heald says he tries to attend a training session each half term and says they are very fortunate in Wigan that the council and LA offer training all year round: “My most recent training was on head teacher performance management, understanding school data and the Ofsted Education Inspection Framework.”

Commensurate training

At B11 Education, we understand the pressures of school governance on the volunteers who carry out this incredible work. This is why we have collaborated with Transcend Awards to create an all-encompassing regulated qualification which is commensurate to the role that governors perform.

“B11 Education is a true advocate for school standards and cultures. We feel privileged to be working alongside a team that has a wealth of experience in this field. We look forward to launching collaborative solutions which are uniquely designed to drive standards, influence school cultures and impact positively on children’s lives.”

Stacey Doherty, Executive Awarding Director, Transcend Awards

The Transcend Level 6 Award in Effective School Governance is supportive, developmental and is fully aligned to the DfE Governance Handbook 2019.

Being a Level 6 Award (the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree), it provides governors with the opportunity to enhance their career prospects through CPD, transfer strategic leadership skills into their own profession and, most importantly, contribute successfully to their school’s performance and standards.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about the Transcend Level 6 Award in Effective School Governance, please complete the form below and we will be in touch.




Please share this post