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paying school governors; is it a slippery slope?

6 March 2012

Man on a mission Sir Michael Wilshaw believes governors of struggling schools should be paid, which has divided opinion. On the one hand, governors spend vast amount of free time and energy governing schools, and with the increased autonomy schools now have under the academies programme the task is increasingly difficult. Improving governance is high on the government’s agenda; struggling schools need all the help they can get.

On the other hand, the idea raises some challenging questions. Where would this money come from? How much would governors get and who would set the rate? How will they be held accountable? Are there alternatives, such as investing in training and ensuring that governors are supported by local and central government and their employers (by being given paid time-off to carry out governor duties)? Wouldn’t the money be better-used to attract excellent head teachers? These questions need to be answered as once the government head down this path, I suspect it will be hard to back-track.

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