Is innovation always the right innovation?

Schools, and for that matter, other organisations too, spend a lot of time solving problems. But a lot of this time is wasted because they are solving the wrong problems!

In an article in The Times “Desperate schools seek governors they can beam in“, the school governor one stop shop (SGOSS – who are a fantastic organisation whom I have used to recruit several school governors), talk about the lack of professional governors in rural schools.

They have suggested an innovative approach in using video conferencing to allow more professional people who might be based in inner London to participate in school governing body meetings in rural, geographically challenging areas.

This is most definitely a great way to get more people involved in meetings and to avoid the syndrome of having just the small handful of regulars around the table.

But, is it not important to make sure that governors represent and know the school community well?  That even if our governors are busy people, that physically attending the meeting at least gets them in the school building every few months?

Or does this matter?

Or are we solving the wrong problem?  Is the current system of school governance fit for purpose?

Can we really expect so much of and give such a high level of responsibility to volunteers, who of course give an incredible amount of time, but in the current world of new curricular, new models of assessment, Ofsted frameworks, etc, where teachers can barely keep up, can a volunteer governor truly fulfil their role of holding the school to account; of being challenging yet supporting?

Is it time for a rethink?  Are paid governors the way forwards?  Are governors needed at all?  Is there a better way? – A greater level of local authority involvement?

I’d be really interested in hearing your comments.

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