ATL comment on role of school governors
Commenting on the commentary by Sir Michael Wilshaw on school governors, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
“While Sir Michael is right to recognize that some governing bodies need to improve, it is important not to rush to a knee-jerk response. Whatever the merits or otherwise of paying governors, there simply is not the money to do this without hitting frontline teaching, especially at a time when many schools are already struggling with the demands on their budgets.
“There need to be joined up responses rather attempts to fix aspects of the ways schools are run in isolation without recognising the impact any changes will have. We support the need for better governance, but there is the danger that pressing governors to 'perform' better will lead to them challenging their heads more often and providing less support. Pressure on heads has already triggered an increasing demand for reports about staff and pupil performance at the expense of frontline teaching, is contributing to extra workload, affecting staff well-being and driving many leaders and teachers from the profession.”