Governing Body Peer Review

As a member of the Barnsley Alliance Board the Barnsley Governors Association is committed to school to school support and has therefore started to carry out peer reviews of governing bodies.

Peer reviews are not an inspection but an offer by a small group of experienced governors to meet with members of a governing body to talk about that governing body’s strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and challenges that the governing body is facing. Ideas and knowledge can be shared in an atmosphere of partnership and mutual respect – we can all learn from each other.

Before the meeting, a governing body may find it helpful to carry out a self-evaluation which can then provide a basis for the discussion. Various models of self-evaluation can be found including ‘Twenty questions every governing board should ask itself’ which is available on the BGA website under ‘useful documents’.
Governing bodies may also wish to send documents to the review group such as their governor development plan and how their committees are organised. The review group will also look at the school’s website and latest Ofsted report.

The reviews are relaxed and open but this does not mean that they are without challenge. Their purpose is to encourage governors to reflect on how they carry out their roles and whether they can do anything differently in the best interests of their pupils.

The meeting finishes with agreement on the recommendations that will be carried forward by the governing body and any learning points that can be shared with other Barnsley governors via our website and enewsletters.

Some governing bodies may already be participating in peer reviews. If so, we would love to hear from you so that we can build an accurate picture of school governance in Barnsley. We can then invite outstanding governing bodies to share their expertise and good practice and can target support where it is most needed.

Please contact us on or c/o Horizon Community College, Dodworth Road, Barnsley S70 6PD if you have any questions or comments or would like to invite a group to review your governing body.