Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, has recently made comments that the number of school governing boards not fit for purpose was concerning and therefore improvements need to be made. He noted that the role of a school governor should be an active one, and individuals should not be allowed to simply sit in meetings just to boost their CV.
One suggestion made to improve School Governing Boards was to introduce compulsory training for those wishing to sit as a school governor. Sir Michael expressed disappointment that this recommendation did not see much progress from the government following its suggestion to the Department for Education last year. He also made the suggestion to pay chairs and vice-chairs of the school governing boards in order to attract the most able people to challenging schools, as well as being able to fully scrutinise candidates and demand full attention to the role.
A survey has been commissioned following these concerns to address the effectiveness of school governance. This report will be published by Ofsted next year.
These comments have been criticised by some. Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governors' Association, questioned the appropriateness of Ofsted producing such a report given their lack of expertise in the area, stating that they often fail to fully understand the governance role in schools.
It remains to be seen whether these comments will be listened to by the government a second time around, however Sir Michael did acknowledge that despite his concerns, many school governors do an excellent job in their voluntary role and take their duties seriously.