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Ofsted reveals new approach to governance

28 February 2013

A strategy to help governors hold head teachers to account and a proposal to pay some governors have divided opinion among educationalists.

New online “school data dashboards” will assist governors to challenge school leaders and stop governors pleading ignorance on their school’s weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how this is received, given that there are vast variations in how schools support governors. More emphasis should be put on training to help ensure governors understand their schools' strengths and weaknesses and the importance of challenging the headteacher, both at the point of induction and at frequent intervals throughout a governor’s term.

The National Governance Association’s (NGA) has highlighted that a significant majority of existing governors are against all governors being paid. Yet a strong minority suggest a special case could be made for paying chairs. Paying for strong chairs in struggling schools maybe what Ofsted envisions. We await detail on how this will work in practice, but in principle it’s a good idea.

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