She told delegates that effective governance was essential to the success of any organisation in any sector. She said that a flaw in governance was often at the root of major organisational failures, citing the banking system and the Kids Company charity as important recent examples.
If we want to prevent any school failing its pupils we need to make sure that its governance is strong.
Claire highlighted the range of guidance and support materials now available to governing boards. These included the Department for Education’s governance handbook and competency framework, and the NGA’s effective governance tools.
She said that governors had a key role to play in helping school leaders develop and maintain a better work-life balance.
“Governors do have a duty of care to leaders especially now that work-life balance has become such a big issue,” she said. “Governors should help build a positive, respectful relationship with leaders, while at the same time holding them to account.
“There has got to be an element of close understanding of what is going on for governors but this can sometimes lead to anxiety in the leader. But if you have the relationship right and other elements in place that should reduce that anxiety and leaders will see the engagement as something to be welcomed.”
Reporting by Nick Bannister, education communications consultant.