Show this slide and allow colleagues a couple of minutes to absorb it. If you have time, you could ask governors how far they believe each of these statements could have been made about their own schools.
You can use this slide to run a very quick skills audit: how many governors identified which areas as weaknesses? Does this align with your existing training plans for governors? You can do this by getting governors to agree on the three point scale together – or get them to state views individually.
These questions offer a helpful check list for GBs to consider.
HMI Cathryn Kirby ppt. March 2014
Working together to raise standards
Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector
What inspection tells us
Stark variations in school performance across
different local authority areas.
Inequality of access to a good school.
Wide attainment gap compared to other regions
of England, particularly for pupils eligible for free
Effective governance is an intrinsic part
of good leadership.
Good governance is not universal.
Common issues with governance
Issues identified in inspection reports included:
not ambitious about expectations
lack of a ‘critical friend’ approach and challenge
over-reliance on information solely from the headteacher
do not visit the school
lack of engagement with school development planning
limited role in monitoring the impact of actions
limited understanding of data and school quality.
Since September 2012, Ofsted has significantly
increased the focus on school governance
In the best schools inspectors found governors
were very well informed
Governors in these schools know how to
challenge and have the right skills
The characteristics of strong governing bodies
Understand their role and how it complements that of the
A range of skills that brings something extra.
Technical knowledge – of education, data, statutory
responsibilities and performance management.
Want to see and hear from middle and senior leaders
about their work - and challenge them on it.
Have the time to be a visible presence in the school.
Set challenging targets for performance at all levels,
including in achievement, teaching and senior
Can form their own analysis of the school’s performance
without relying on the headteacher.
Being strategic does not mean you lose the
focus on day to day responsibilities:
Ensuring school transport is safe for the pupils
Promoting community cohesion
Ensuring there is no discrimination in the appointment or treatment of staff
Checking the performance of pupils with special educational needs
Monitoring the extent of bullying, including homophobic bullying
Ensuring equal opportunities for pupils
Making health and safety checks
Agreeing the policy for sex education
Promoting high standards
Which of these aspects do governors have a responsibility
Ofsted’s report: Getting to Good identified four
actions initiated by effective governing bodies
• Headteachers and local authorities ensured that all
governors were fully committed to the role. In some
cases this led to individuals deciding to resign.
• Governors embarked on training programmes, often
provided by the local authority, to strengthen their role.
• Partnerships between governing bodies from different
schools were established to share good practice.
• Governing bodies worked alongside headteachers on
school improvement. Often they were allocated
specific aspects of school improvement to check and
More detailed report recommendations provide
an agenda for improving a governing body:
The analysis of recommendations suggest that national
priorities for improving governance should focus on:
techniques for governors to use in knowing their school
independently of the headteacher, for example, when visiting
aspects of the school’s work
how to use data to get to their own independent view of
achievement, including of specific groups
how to work with the headteacher on the performance
management of staff and teaching in particular
how to plan and deliver performance management of the
headteacher including setting targets
We have simplified the twenty ‘self-evaluation’ questions from the
All Party Parliamentary Group on Education
Governance and Leadership
1. Have we completed a skills audit? 2. Do we find and appoint people on the
basis of their skills?
3. Do we understand roles and
4. Do we have professional clerking?
5. Is their budgeted training for governor
6. Do we know national concepts of
7. Is our committee structure effective? 8. Does everyone contribute and do we
9. Do we have clear planning with
10. Does strategic planning drive our
11. Do we understand performance data? 12. How effectively do we performance
manage the headteacher?
13. Do we ensure value for money? 14. Do we listen to pupils, parents and
15. Do we report to parents and
16. Do we gain from collaborations?
17. Do we review the chair’s
18. Do we plan for succession?
19. Are chairs re-elected annually? 20. How much have we contributed to
school improvement in last three
Reviews of governance?
Can be recommended as a result of an Ofsted inspection,
or monitoring visit
School can arrange a review of governance at any time
To enable the Governing Body to become:
• More skilled, more focused and more effective;
• More aware of the freedoms available and how take
advantage of these;
• Clear in its vision and how it can be achieved
• Confident about roles and responsibilities; the right
structures, skills and commitment
Principles of review
• Support to improve and not an additional inspection;
• Process of externally-supported self-review;
• Manageable in terms of time and process;
• Led by an experienced and skilled reviewer;
• Flexible to take account of needs and context;
• Robust and evidenced-based recommendations.
Protocols of review
•Reviewer will build confidence and capacity;
•Review based on trust and mutual respect;
•Reviewers use their experience and skills to
identify priorities and solutions;
•GB feels ownership of the outcomes of the review.
Inspectors will judge how well governors evaluate:
The leadership of teaching
The difference made by initiatives
The impact of senior leaders on
improving the school’s effectiveness.
When judging the impact of governors inspectors
Always seek to meet with governors, or other authority
for schools in managed groups, federations or chains.
Expect governors to know about the strengths and
weaknesses of the school.
Expect school governors to understand performance data,
including the information that their school’s data
Examine the impact of leaders at all levels, including
governors, and evaluate how well the school is led and
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