School governor rejects Ofsted chief inspector's criticisms

Published in News

A SCHOOL governor in York has rejected criticisms made by Ofsted’s chief inspector about the way they operate.

The chief inspector of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, wants to launch an online at-a-glance report card for each school, which he wants governors to use to hold head teachers to account.

He attacked some governors as “ill-informed” and spending too much time on minor issues rather than challenging head teachers on performance in maths and English.

Sir Michael likened the worst governors to jurors who are incapable of understanding their responsibilities in a court case and also said he wanted some school governors in England to be paid to provide more professional leadership.

But Will Hayler, the chairman of governors at Scarcroft Primary School in York, who has 12 years experience in the role, said the current system, involving a mix of parent governors as well as those appointed by the local authority, was a good one.

Mr Hayler said: “In my experience school governors are already doing a good job and they are more than capable of drilling down to the heart of issues rather than getting bogged down in side matters.

“At Scarcroft maths and English, or literacy and numeracy, are discussed at nearly every meeting of the governors without fail. I don’t agree that governors get easily distracted and nor do I think that governors should be paid. You need a broad diversity among governors and that is what we have at Scarcroft, people from all sorts of backgrounds and all walks of life.

“Parent governors are also important on a governing body as it is vital that parents’ views are taken into consideration.”

The National Governors’ Association said it also opposed paying governors.

Emma Knights, the association’s chief executive, said: “Governors can do a professional businesslike job without being paid. We are all on the same mission, the question is how you do that.”

Comments (2)

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10:30am Thu 28 Feb 13

Big Bad Wolf says...

Mr Hayler can only speak about one school...... Sir Michael Wilshaw is talking about all schools.... As he states some are good, others are not.
Mr Hayler can only speak about one school...... Sir Michael Wilshaw is talking about all schools.... As he states some are good, others are not. Big Bad Wolf
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 28 Feb 13

bloodaxe says...

Wilshaw is yet another edu-thug. It's strange that in most aspects of life the government seeks to do things by consultation, usually because they're afraid of upsetting vested interests. The exception is education, where people who work in the system are ignored or vilified. Chris Woodenhead started the process, despite his own proven track record of incompetence, lambasting all and sundry with baseless accusations about thousands of bad teachers with absolutely no evidence. Wilshaw wants governors to be paid but fails to say where the money will come from. Are we seriously meant to believe that well-paid professionals will be drawn into the system by the offer of a few quid ? People are governors because, like the vast majority of teachers they care about their communities and the children in them. The best governors work with the expertise of the teachers and don't interfere with the curriculum and teaching. Obviously governors hold schools to account, that is what they are there to do. Ask questions. If Wilshaw wasn't denigrating governors as a whole then he should have chosen his words more carefully. He was clearly attacking the system. It is possible that his speech was written for him and he didn't read it before delivering it but a little unlikely.
I am neither a governor or teacher.
Wilshaw is yet another edu-thug. It's strange that in most aspects of life the government seeks to do things by consultation, usually because they're afraid of upsetting vested interests. The exception is education, where people who work in the system are ignored or vilified. Chris Woodenhead started the process, despite his own proven track record of incompetence, lambasting all and sundry with baseless accusations about thousands of bad teachers with absolutely no evidence. Wilshaw wants governors to be paid but fails to say where the money will come from. Are we seriously meant to believe that well-paid professionals will be drawn into the system by the offer of a few quid ? People are governors because, like the vast majority of teachers they care about their communities and the children in them. The best governors work with the expertise of the teachers and don't interfere with the curriculum and teaching. Obviously governors hold schools to account, that is what they are there to do. Ask questions. If Wilshaw wasn't denigrating governors as a whole then he should have chosen his words more carefully. He was clearly attacking the system. It is possible that his speech was written for him and he didn't read it before delivering it but a little unlikely. I am neither a governor or teacher. bloodaxe
  • Score: 0

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