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News - 10 January 2014

There is a shortage of school Governors.

The charity Governors for Schools (SGOSS) have stated that one in four school governor positions is vacant in some rural and deprived areas of England, and one in 10 of the 300,000 governor posts across the country is unfilled.

The news comes at a time when pressure on governors to hold schools to account for their performance has been growing.

The education inspectorate, Ofsted, now requires governors to hold head teachers and other senior staff to account.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he wants to reform school governance and said in a speech a year ago that governors were often "local worthies" who viewed their post as a "badge of status not of work".

Instead he wants to see people taking up the positions because they have a skill and for them to "concentrate on essentials such as leadership and standards, teaching and behaviour," he said

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“SGOSS, which receives funding from the Department for Education, also carried out research on the public view of governors and their role. A recent survey of 1,781 people in Britain found nearly two-thirds did not realise it was school governors' responsibility to appoint a head teacher. Three-quarters did not know governors were responsible for deciding a school's admission policy and 85% of respondents were not aware that signing off a school budget was also the governing body's responsibility.”

Chief executive of SGOSS Liz McSheehy said: "We know that a full and diverse governing body is a source of enormous strength to a school. If people feel they have skills to offer and care about making a difference in their local community, we want to hear from them."

A Department for Education spokesman said: "School governors play an incredibly important role in setting the direction of a school, supporting and challenging the head teacher, and ensuring money is well spent.

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

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
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