Education update: improving standards of governance in schools

According to recent figures, 2,481 secondary schools have converted to academy status, 883 schools have opened as academies with a sponsor, 1,500 primary schools have become or are in the process of becoming academies and 174 free schools have opened with a further 116 in the pipeline. The governors of these schools are taking on legal, financial and management responsibilities, as these academies are run along business lines with minimal support from the local authority.

Three recent announcements from the Department for Education (DfE) show that they are now expecting maintained schools to be run along similar lines. At present, there is no requirement for governing bodies of maintained schools to prioritise the skills of a prospective governor, but that is set to change. The chief executive of the National Governors’ Association said in the DfE press release that ‘being a school governor is an important responsibility akin to being a non-executive director of a trust or company’. The DfE is therefore proposing to change the regulations that govern the constitution of governing bodies in maintained schools…

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