NASUWT comments on Select Committee report into school governance
Commenting on the Education Select Committee’s report into the role of school governing bodies, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
"It should be of deep concern to parents and the public that there are such serious weaknesses in school governance, given the extensive autonomy which has been heaped on them by the Coalition Government.
"Governors are well meaning volunteers who now have control over millions of pounds of taxpayers' money and public assets, the school workforce and the life chances of children and young people.
"In this context these recommendations seem weak and will make little contribution to protecting the public interest. They may even compound the problems rather than resolve them.
"What for example is the point of requiring schools to provide training when governors can't be required to attend?
“The NASUWT has argued consistently that the current system of school governance is not fit for purpose.
"Governing bodies in too many cases fail to discharge their responsibilities to provide appropriate support and challenge to headteachers, which is why many teachers regard their governing body as the headteacher's governing body rather than the school’s.
“In a recent survey conducted by the NASUWT of over 14,000 teachers, 93% said that they believe that governors should undertake mandatory training.
“81% of teachers said that they believe governors should be subject to external scrutiny.
"More than 8 out if 10 (86%) teachers believe that the governing body acts on the wishes of the headteacher.
"A fundamental overhaul of school governance is required, not cosmetic tinkering."