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News - 28 February 2013

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw wants paid governors

Ofsted's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, says he wants some school governors in England to be paid and to provide more professional leadership, and has attacked governors who are "ill-informed" and "not able to make good decisions".

In a speech on Wednesday, Sir Michael said weaknesses in leadership, including governing bodies, were a common problem among the 6,000 schools rated less than good.

The Ofsted chief is set to launch the School Data Dashboard to provide information for an estimated 300,000 school governors. This data, also available to the public, will provide key information about the performance of every state primary and secondary school. Sir Michael says this will make sure that governors understand their schools' strengths and weaknesses.

A large majority of school governors are unpaid volunteers from the local community.

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governors' Association says they oppose paying governors. "Governors can do a professional businesslike job without being paid."

An Ofsted spokeswoman said that offering incentives might attract talented governors to very challenging schools. This could be "more than just expenses", she said.

But Ms Knights said that volunteering was an important part of the ethos of parents and the community supporting local schools.

Peter Ham Auditor and Head of Schools and Charities at ABDS comments:
“There are already provisions for paying governors in certain circumstances, such as where temporary governing bodies are installed to turn around a failing school.”

If you need any help and advice with Free School, Academy Schools or Independent Schools, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

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