Wednesday, 6 June 2007

School Governors not up to scratch

The Times reports that school governors often lack the necessary financial and managerial expertise and are not qualified to assess staff, research suggests.

Alan Dyson, Professor of Education at the University of Manchester who is the lead author of a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that schools in the most disadvantaged areas found it difficult to recruit and retain governors with the necessary time and expertise to take responsibility for a typical multimillion-pound school budget. "This leads to the schools most desperately in need of good governance being the least likely to benefit from it."

Greater independence has been given to schools but too little attention has been paid to the extra burdens this has placed on governors. The result is an army of volunteer governors willing to commit hours of their spare time "for the good of the school", but without knowing what they are doing.

The report recommends the creation of a group of paid, professional governors in each locality to sit on the governing bodies of a number of schools alongside volunteer governors.

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