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David Marriott - Issues and Challenges for COGS 2010

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From the Modern Governor online webinar on 13.01.2011. Chair of NCOGS, David Marriott, talks about the issues facing Co-Ordinators of Governor Services in 2010.

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David Marriott - Issues and Challenges for COGS 2010

  1. 1. Issues and challenges for COGs David Marriott NCOGS
  2. 2. Consequences of weak governance
  3. 3. Strengthening governance St Custard’s school governors were baffled by Ofsted’s accusation that they were “too operational”
  4. 4. Is governance weak? <ul><li>Governance is one of the weaker aspects of leadership inspected this year, being good or outstanding in 56% of schools (70% in 2009). </li></ul><ul><li>In just over a fifth of the schools inspected, governance was judged to be less effective than leadership, which suggests that there is potential in many schools for governors to make a greater contribution than they do at present to improving outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>  Governors are most effective when they are fully involved in the school’s self-evaluation and use the knowledge gained to challenge the school, understand its strengths and weaknesses and contribute to shaping its strategic direction. In contrast, weak governance is likely to fail to ensure statutory requirements are met, for example those related to safeguarding. In addition, where governance is weak the involvement of governors in monitoring the quality of provision is not well-enough defined or sufficiently rigorous and challenging. (HMCI report 2010) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Recent reports <ul><li>Governing Our Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Bath Uni and BITC </li></ul><ul><li>The 21 st century school: implications and challenges for school governing bodies </li></ul>
  6. 6. Common recommendations <ul><li>Greater clarity over roles </li></ul><ul><li>Professional clerking </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory training for new governors, chairs and clerks </li></ul><ul><li>Wider representation </li></ul><ul><li>Work of GBs should be recognised, profile raised </li></ul>
  7. 7. COGs’ Manifesto <ul><li>It is essential that every school has effective governance arrangements through which governors: </li></ul><ul><li>Are guardians of the purpose and aims of the school, ensuring accountability, transparency and informed engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure children receive their entitlement to high quality learning and care </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that public money is spent in the best interests and needs of pupils and reflects school priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Hold the school to account on behalf of their children, parents and the wider community </li></ul>
  8. 8. We believe that <ul><li>Preparation for school leadership roles must include substantial and compulsory components on governance </li></ul><ul><li>School leadership is only fully effective when there is a true partnership between the senior leadership team and governors who should have a common and well informed understanding and awareness of each others’ roles and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Effective governance is integral to school improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Governors are entitled to specific and identified school improvement information from within the school and from external sources in plain English in order to provide appropriate professional challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Governance should be outward-looking, seeking opportunities to develop effective partnerships with a range of organisations and service providers in order to commission services offering best value </li></ul><ul><li>All governing bodies should continue to have access to a variety of high quality services in their locality </li></ul><ul><li>Statutory induction training for all governors and training for chairs and clerks is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Every governing body should have an accredited professional clerk to support effective governance </li></ul>
  9. 9. White Paper <ul><li>School governors are the unsung heroes of our education system. They are one of the biggest volunteer forces in the country, working in their spare time to promote school improvement and to support head teachers and teachers in their work. To date, governors have not received the recognition, support or attention that they deserve. We will put that right. </li></ul>
  10. 10. White Paper <ul><li>The time and expertise of governors needs to be better respected and deployed. Sometimes governing bodies lack the information or training to challenge effectively and support the head teacher and senior leadership of a school to improve </li></ul><ul><li>We will work with the National Governors Association and others to clarify governing body accountabilities and responsibilities to focus more strongly on strategic direction, and encourage schools to appoint trained clerks who can offer expert advice and guidance to support them </li></ul><ul><li>We will make it easier for governors to set high expectations and ask challenging questions, by giving governors easier access to data about how their school compares to others </li></ul><ul><li>The National College will offer high-quality training for chairs of governors </li></ul>
  11. 11. White Paper <ul><li>Governing bodies benefit from having people with business or management experience as members, and employers find that their staff benefit from and enjoy serving as school governors </li></ul><ul><li>We will work with the Education Employer Taskforce, Business in the Community, the Institute for Education Business Excellence, the School Governor’s One Stop Shop, and others to encourage business people and professionals to volunteer as governors </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the most successful schools have smaller governing bodies with individuals drawn from a wide range of people rooted in the community, such as parents, businesses, local government and the voluntary sector </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller governing bodies with the right skills are able to be more decisive, supporting the head teacher and championing high standards </li></ul>
  12. 12. White Paper <ul><li>We will legislate in the forthcoming Education Bill so that all schools can establish smaller governing bodies with appointments primarily focused on skills . From early 2012 we will allow all schools to adopt this more flexible model of school governance if they choose to, while ensuring a minimum of two parent governors. Schools which currently have a majority of governors appointed by a foundation (often faith voluntary aided schools) will continue to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>We will remove prescription on school governing bodies, simplifying the list of decisions that they are required to take . We will allow them, for example, to take decisions about the length of the school day in whatever way they consider appropriate. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Challenges <ul><li>Staying focused on governance when jobs are threatened </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping governance strong as the educational landscape changes </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping the map up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Spotting and seizing new opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting and encouraging each other </li></ul>
  14. 14. Strengths <ul><li>COGS are the prime source of everything that strengthens governance – good advice, clear guidance and effective training </li></ul><ul><li>We’re cost effective and valued by governors </li></ul><ul><li>We network brilliantly in our regions </li></ul>
  15. 15. Weaknesses <ul><li>Changes in LAs are weakening us </li></ul><ul><li>Money’s getting tighter </li></ul><ul><li>Communication between regional groups </li></ul><ul><li>Not valued enough by our LAs </li></ul>
  16. 16. Threats <ul><li>Budget cuts </li></ul><ul><li>Governance not prioritised in Ofsted inspections </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of business </li></ul><ul><li>COGS and NCOGS collapse as organisations </li></ul>
  17. 17. Opportunities <ul><li>New ways of working </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative service models </li></ul><ul><li>LA </li></ul><ul><li>LA buy out </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Community interest company </li></ul><ul><li>Limited company </li></ul><ul><li>Possible roles </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Brokerage </li></ul><ul><li>Commissioning </li></ul><ul><li>Consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>Possible customers </li></ul><ul><li>Own LA </li></ul><ul><li>Other LAs </li></ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Trusts </li></ul><ul><li>Private companies </li></ul><ul><li>NGA </li></ul>
  18. 18. Then maybe... Lord Gove (108) presents the 2075 award for the strongest governing body in England to “St Custard’s Free -Academy -Specialist -Beacon -Community -Grant -Maintained (but we keep quiet about it) -Church of the Latter Day Hedge Fund Managers Chuckle College for Young Gentlefolk”, Aston juxta Mondrum.