Do Governors matter?

This is something which has been at the back of my mind for a long time. I first thought of this when I came across some Heads and members of senior leadership teams in schools who thought that as they were the “experts” they should be left to get on with what happens in their schools without interference from governors. Now, I know governors may not be experts in education, but they do bring other skills. These skills, if used properly, can be of huge benefit to schools. The most important role of governors is that of support and challenge. Maybe it is the challenge bit of the role the Heads and senior leaders, referred to above, object to. A good governing body is also the body that holds the leadership of the school to account. Again, maybe it is this which makes these school leaders uneasy. The thought of being held to account by “non-experts” makes them uneasy. A good governing body, led by an able Chair, should be able to, and needs to, change this perception. They should be able to show that part of their role is concerned with “support”. I know that some of these leaders view the freedom provided by converting to an academy as freedom from having to explain themselves to the governing body. They fail to realise that that is not the case.

It seems that members of the school leadership are not the only ones who don’t know much about governing bodies. The following is a screenshot I took of a tweet. Apparently, there are some who don’t know that Ofsted does inspect governors! Reading this tweet made me think that if people like Adonis don’t know that governors are inspected, then maybe governors really don’t matter to them! This was especially surprising as governing has been in the news lately. Is that just lip service?!


I follow Ruth Agnew on Twitter. Ruth Agnew is a National Leader of Governance and blogs about governance (Ruth Agnew). Her latest post informed her followers about a consultation about changes to some governance regulations. Now, Ruth thinks that this consultation should be a wide and open consultation and all governors should be consulted. I agree. Instead, DfE will be only consulting members of AGoG (Advisory Group on Governance). So, views of a lowly governor like me don’t matter. This is what made me finally blog today. Should we just pack up our bags and leave the professionals to run our schools? Does our presence change things for the better? What would be the effect on our children if there were no governing bodies? What do you think, do governors really matter?



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