Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Suffolk: Shortage of school governors as one in 10 posts are vacant

PUBLISHED: 09:11 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:11 10 January 2014

One in 10 school governor positions vacant

One in 10 school governor positions vacant

Archant

One in 10 school governor posts in Suffolk are lying vacant, according to a group which recruits them.

Governors for Schools (SGOSS) said a tenth of the estimated 4400 school governors’ positions in the local authority remained to be filled.

The figures chime with national statistics which show a similar shortage of school governors.

Improving school governing bodies was one of the key recommendations made by the report on Suffolk’s low educational standards by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Suffolk County Council agreed that they needed to ensure governing bodies are “more strategic, challenging and ambitious”.

Yesterday a spokesman for the council said that governors were becoming increasingly important as schools became more independent.

However SGOSS have also said there is widespread misunderstanding about the role of school governors which could hamper recruitment.

A survey of members of the public in East Anglia showed that 58% of respondents didn’t realise school governors were responsible for appointing a head teacher, and 69% did not know they decided a school’s admissions policy.

A further 84% of survey respondents weren’t aware that school governors had to sign off a school budget and almost all of them – 96% - didn’t know that they allocated the budget for new buildings.

The charity has released an interactive video to raise awareness about being a school governor and encourage recruitment.

Participants must navigate the kinds of decisions governors face, such as whether to sell part of the school playing field in order to finance improved IT facilities.

Liz McSheehy, chief executive of SGOSS, said: “We know that a full and diverse governing body is a source of enormous strength to a school. The School Makers interactive video campaign looks to raise awareness of what the role involves and we hope it will inspire interested parties in East Anglia to apply to become a governor.

“If people feel they have skills to offer and care about making a difference in their local community, we want to hear from them.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “As schools become increasingly independent, the role of governors is becoming more and more important. They play a leading role in managing school spending, driving up performance and holding the head teacher to account.

“Suffolk County Council advertises governing body vacancies - and gives guidance to schools on how to recruit new governors themselves. As part of the Raising the Bar programme, 50 Suffolk chairs of governors are currently taking part in a national leadership programme to improve their skills. Another 50 places have been secured for next year.

“We work closely with SGOSS to recruit new governors and will continue this work.”

The Department of Education said it too was consulting on measures to recruit more governors. The department has lifted government restrictions on marketing expenditure for SGOSS to enable them to spend more on encouraging recruitment.

A spokesman said: “School governors play an incredibly important role in setting the direction of a school, supporting and challenging the head teacher, and ensuring money is well spent.

“We are working with organisations including the CBI, the Education and Employers Taskforce and the school governor recruitment charity SGOSS to encourage more employers to support their staff to volunteer. We will consult on further measures to attract more high calibre governors shortly.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Police searching for 53-year-old Bruce Antell reported missing from Newmarket have reported that a body has been found in east Sussex.

A Suffolk man who swindled the owners of VW camper vans out of more than £30,000 by taking money for work he didn’t do has been jailed for 15 months.

Paramedics were called to a home in East Bergholt this afternoon after four people at one property all had allergic reactions to wasp stings.

Travellers who pitched up on a playing field in Burrs Road, Clacton on Monday are facing court action after the group failed to move on despite being served notice to leave.

A former Colchester man who raped and sexually assaulted a schoolgirl has been jailed for 12 years.

Organisers of an annual Suffolk theatre festival have revealed plans to take this year’s shows on the road for a new venture.

Ipswich could be one of the worst-hit cities in Britain if the country faces a “hard Brexit” with no access to the European single market after we leave the EU.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24