Ofsted in call for ‘more professional’ governors

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BUSINESSES should order staff to become governors at their local schools, according to Ofsted’s chief inspector of schools.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said more professionalism was needed among school governors and suggested that some should be paid for their work.

He made the comments as he announced that every primary and secondary school in England will be handed an annual report card detailing their exam results and attendance rates.

The one-page overview – known as a “school dashboard” will be made public, meaning it can be used by parents to compare schools. The move comes amid concerns by Ofsted that governors need more information to hold schools to account.

Sir Michael warned that some school governors are not up to scratch and would rather spend time “looking at the quality of lunches and not enough on maths and English”.

In a speech to the Policy Exchange, in London, yesterday he argued that there needs to be a “professional approach” among some governing bodies, particularly in the most challenging schools. He said: “Of course there will always be a place for the volunteer and those from the community who want to support their local school. That will always be the case. But where there is a lack of capacity and where there are few volunteers without the necessary skills, we need to consider radical solutions.

“I have said it before and I will say it again, we should not rule out payment to governors with the necessary expertise to challenge and support schools with a long legacy of under-performance.”

He said all large and medium-sized companies could insist that their senior and middle managers join the governing bodies.