2 December 2013

Education experts raised key concerns about the future role of school governors at a recent seminar organised by RISE.

Speakers and participants discussed current changes and asked whether these were threatening the moral purpose and social responsibility involved in being a school governor.

A full report of the seminar School Governance – what we know now and what will the future hold? is now available on the RISE website.

The report is a valuable contribution to the on-going debate about the future role of governors. From September 2013 Ofsted inspectors have had to evaluate the extent to which governors both ‘challenge and support the school and hold senior staff, including the headteacher, to account for the achievement of the pupils’. Ofsted Subsidiary Guidance has a long list of aspects of governors’ work which inspectors must evaluate. The Parliamentary Education Select Committee has investigated governance and made recommendations to which the Government recently responded.

More than ever before there is a focus on school governance and the seminar raised several important issues both in the contributions by the speakers and in discussions with the invited attendees, who themselves had wide experience of governance.

Speakers at the seminar were:

Professor Chris James, Bath University
Siobhain McDonagh MP, Education Select Committee
Christine Gilbert, previous HCMI and co-author of RSA report on academies
David Wolfe, Matrix Chambers
Emma Knights, NGA
Fiona Carnie, Education consultant
Brian Lightman, ASCL
Bridget Sinclair, NCOGS

Notes to editors

1. RISE is the Research and Information on State Education Trust. It is a charity that commissions reports and provides information on state education. RISE reports have covered many issues of particular interest to parents, such as class size, home-school agreements, parental involvement in Ofsted inspections, school complaints procedures, parent governor representatives, parents and new schools, and school admissions.

2. The RISE Information Centre provides an easy way for researchers, journalists, parents, governors and anyone with an interest in state education to get instant access to data about education from a range of sources, including written parliamentary answers, presented clearly and with hyperlinks to the original sources. The information is divided into key topics and sources for easy browsing. The site is updated regularly and there are links to other sources of data.

3. RISE is run entirely by volunteers. As a charity RISE is dependent on donations to carry out its work. To donate please follow this link.

Read or download the seminar report