Training and your Governing Body

Governors need to understand their roles and responsibilities, work as a team, know their school and feel confident to ask challenging questions in the interests of their pupils.

Governors also need to understand the wider context within which they carry out their roles, for example the political context, local authority priorities, Ofsted requirements.

There are advantages to training alongside governors from other schools who can offer different perspectives, but training as a whole governing body is valuable both in terms of content and process. Some of the advantages are:

● governors can negotiate their roles and responsibilities at their own school and come to an understanding of where they can be most effective, for example by using a skills audit. Governors may each take on an area of special interest e.g. safeguarding and make presentations on this to their governing body;

● team building: governors can be encouraged to work as a team for the benefit of the school by attending sessions with their governing body on the role of the governor and how to be an effective governing body. Confidence is built by trusting fellow governors to be honest and deal with conflict in a positive way;

● whole GB sessions help to ensure a consistency of approach and a feeling of joint accountability; governors are more likely to ‘own’ decisions which are arrived at organically and democratically;

● governors’ understanding of their own school is extended; information, for example on RAISEonline, can be made relevant to their school in particular.

Such training increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the governing body, leads to more purposeful meetings and helps raise achievement.

You may feel comfortable using a member of your governing body to facilitate the session or may prefer to ask someone from outside your school to help. There may be issues such as confidentiality to consider.

It can be helpful for one or two governors on a governing body to take responsibility for governor training and development so that training is co-ordinated (not every governor attending the same course) and to encourage governors to give feedback on courses so that information is shared. These governors may take on the task of organising whole GB training sessions.

Have you organised a whole GB training session – either successful or unsuccessful? It would be really helpful to hear about it so we can share good practice or learn from mistakes!

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