The Challenge of the Century for all in Surrey Governance by Geoffrey Hackett Chair of SGA
Before you start to read my collection of thoughts and observations contained in this article can I ask you two questions not to answer now but bear them in mind and answer at the end of the article. Of course if the questions don’t raise any interest now, I doubt that reading the article will; but then that is possibly too judgemental wouldn’t you say?
Who sees most of the game?
Are you up for the mission you volunteered to undertake?
We all in Surrey Governance are in the midst of an interesting time as we transition the education policy from the long standing traditional Government/LA ‘knows best’ policy to a Schools-Led System.
Just as the 29th March 30thJune/31stOctober? holds much in hand for the sovereignty of our nation through Brexit so it holds the opportunity for a major shift in the education of children in Surrey. The support structure that has supported education policy initiatives and drives from the DfE through to the Council and its partner agencies such as Strictly Education 4S, will fundamentally change. How much it may change and in what direction, will depend on how many issues are handled by schools over the next few months.
Needless to say many plans have been developed by many organisations and those with a vested interest in young people; be that all or some of children’s education, welfare, security and their social abilities and acceptability both for the present and in the future. These plans and offerings will of course be flavoured by the organisation’s perspective and while all will profess their plans are in the best interest for the education of our young people from 0 – 25 I guarantee some will defiantly have more self-interest in them, while others will focus on the interest of the whole community. Likewise some will be about preserving the old ways while others will focus on the highly experimental or even seek to apply the great unknown.
The understanding of these many new - proposals – offerings – changes, will no doubt be best understood by those immersed in and experiencing education daily those whose living and passion is education, who work with and take on all its challenges at the coal face every day. Surely they are in the best position to analyse all that is in the mix and what’s on offer in the change form a hierarchy to a Schools-Led System. That said, in order to ensure the maximum value given by the opportunity of changing an old process then the rationalisation of the professionals analysis will require a different approach. From those with a wider and more scoping knowledge of the impact on education, on community and on society in the broadest sense. Governors should be foremost among those have the skills of inquisition and the ability to evaluate both the niche and wider benefits that the changes in the system can deliver to improving the aims of education and broadening its benefits in harmony with the community and society.
The approach to getting the best from all this information and the opportunity in creating the change process has to become an evaluation of the many ‘what if scenarios’ of both the planned, incidental and consequential outcomes. Asking why, where, how and when and especially who can create the best outcomes for the improvement of education. So who is best to carry out the interrogation of the analysis with an impartial and broad perspective, to challenge the given, to extract the best potential, in full consultation with all of those involved in education with all its stake holders and for all involved in education. If you haven’t read it you may like to take the opportunity to have a read at my thought provoking paper from last year
An opportunity presents itself. pdf.So what are the big issues around a Schools-Led System and what is on offer, that governors can take a perspective on and more importantly do something about. Here are a few I will look at in this article I am sure once you start to look around your school you will find a few more.
1. Off-rolling – Exclusions – Absenteeism – Inclusivity.
2. High needs – SEND - early years – progress.
3. Bureaucracy – pupil premium - appropriate funding - appropriate curriculum.
4. Deployment of facilities – sharing your experiences – school to school support – CPD – self-help.
5. Linkage to parents - links to wider community – optimum support – facilitation.
6. Mental health - Health and Safety - safe guarding - value for money
Well those are just a few areas for potential improvement out of potentially hundreds more which you may come up with. Irrespective of how good you are in those areas - because there is nothing which can’t be done better. Governors need to look at how efficient their school is on these matters - not every now and again but on a regular basis. Leaving it for a while does very little for any child’s education. Of course if you’ve perfected matters in any area then why not share it here and now with you colleagues in governance. To help review and start the debate just on this short list I have broken it into six groupings so that it is easier to reference each section and follow up when you require on the website. This entire article is not about the answers but raising the debate on areas essential to our community. It therefore focuses on the perceived negatives and so I will say here that for every poor example or problem I highlight in this article there is no doubt a contra example of excellence however the issue is how do we share information experiences, resources and practices in such a way that every child benefits positively.
This article is my take on education based on my experience as a governor in Surrey; a county which in many respects is excellent, well above the national average but that does not mean we can’t improve it. I appreciate you may agree with some of my thoughts and you may strongly disagree with others the important thing is that we put ideas out-there to debate them and agree a strategy that takes us forward. If by trying we occasional get it wrong we act to put it right quickly but acknowledging that getting things wrong is part of the learning process for failure often teaches us all more than success can or ever does. Simple, try not to get defensive, try to get active at helping others in creating the best environment for all children and the subsequent community of your school, your village, your county, your nation.
Off-rolling –A subject which has recently had a fair amount of press. While there are good and valid reasons why on the odd occasion a child may be off-rolled. There has grown up some dreadful practices amongst some schools of it becoming a regular practice even to the point that parents of SEND children and other minority groups given places at some school are vigorously encouraged to consider other local schools or to look at home education. While this may make a small improvement to the school’s assessment and attainment levels it does little for the children in the school nor for the local community. For a well-balanced inclusive school with a full spectrum of society is far more beneficial to the education of all in the community. Nor does one or two schools in an area off-rolling do other schools in the area any favours, as some will finish up carrying an excess of minority groupings creating an imbalance for them. Simply, it is a dreadful practice which will and must be stopped, it is something which Governors could do a great deal to stop very quickly before a process of naming and shaming such schools is devised.
I do not believe that any school, Headteacher or others that are manipulating its student intake to below the national averages in order to achieve a good or better rating and results should be tolerated in any community, schools should be valued for their inclusivity not their exclusivity.
Exclusions -Like off-rolling this has had a fair amount of press again while from time to time as a sanction some form of short term exclusion may be necessary. Can anyone explain why regular or permanent exclusion does anything to improve a child’s education. It does not reflect well on the capability of the school if the only way it can educate is by excluding not including children.
Much more should be done to provide a broader curriculum that can support the community while developing the natural emerging skills and abilities of all children, not pushing them into a tight regime; one size does not fit all. Again, Governors can do much to challenge these events especially when noticing as numbers on roll drop off in later years so those taking exams are from a smaller cohort than those who started at the school. Governors are there to challenge to check and to see that every child gets the best possible education and the tax payers money is wisely spent on achieving that goal at best value. As a Governor are you doing that?
Absenteeism –For many schools this is a problem and in every school it could be better, with a little thought and communication. Governors could play a bigger roll in looking at the root causes, for example is the absenteeism grown from the way the school operates or the community behaves ‘the onlooker will often see more of the game’. Is it an issue of incentive or of tradition and what can Governors do to support attendance encouraging families to organise their lives to insist that the children get to school every day on time. For example could they act to encourage Doctors and Dentists in the community to make children’s appointments outside school hours rather than in them or that at the very least whenever possible if a child is going to the Dentist/Doctors they come into school first to register before going to the appointment and return after it. Further consideration maybe do holiday companies need to have some pressure put on their premium pricing – while these maybe national matters there are potentially many local issues which could be looked at by Governors.
Inclusivity –Is at best patchy, in Surrey some schools are excellent at it, some are very imbalanced and that occurs in all directions. Inclusivity is not about tokenisms it should at the very least aim to reflect the local community and at best match the national average. Having one of a category in a school of five hundred might be isolation, inclusivity should not only be for the pupils but for the staff and for the governing body as well, if you can mirror your community that is ideal. But most important is this, where schools are inclusive and balanced to the community pupils do well all round not only with educational standards but in the harmonisation and development of the social skills understanding and appreciation of the values of community cohesion. Does your school include children of various ethnicity, children from a variety of religions, traveller children, children with different nationality and/or mother tongues children from different social groupings and children with SEND.
Governors who are in schools in a community or who share in a school’s grouping of any sort would do well to take opportunities to visit other schools in their area and understand what is happening across the broader education community not just in their own school. Then share their information and experiences through websites like ours and your own local net-works and social media allowing others a space to have their inputs as well.
High needs –As soon as the words come up, you more or less know what is going to come next - “not enough money” and you would be right, there is not enough money in the high needs area but that is not to say that there is not enough money in the education budget across the wide range of most education authorities. There are schools operating on painfully low budgets while others have millions in bank accounts.
You can now spend the rest of the year wondering how it got there and seeking retribution or you can look at it realistically. We are all educating all the children who will make up our future generation, our community, contributors, creators, and carers of the next society. Simply every school is charged with the same responsibility for the future and every school is using taxpayers money to provide the best education for every child. Holding money just in case while someone else can’t operate is like a business holding money in the bank while the warehouse is full of goods costing money to store and marketing have no money to promote the goods for sale. The fact that one school has money and another does not would be of concern if the one school was very efficient and the other was very wasteful but in reality the case is often that the one has been very efficient over the years at manipulating a very inefficient or prejudicial funding system, while the other has concentrated on delivering appropriate education from what it was given.
It is time for every type of Governor in every type of school to step up to the plate and sort it for the community, not just for their one establishment, for the consequences of not doing will be more devastating to all than you may realise, from the self-content position most of us currently enjoy. You now have the right time to tell those with the authority to move money where it will work for all society not just a select few but that must be for the genuine good of everybody and the to the real detriment of nobody. A word of caution, many will perceive a detriment which is false, some will perceive a good which is unattainable. But then did anybody say this was going to be easy for if it was easy then everybody would have done it already. However there is nothing to stop somebody getting on with it now. Is that somebody you? Talk to your authority write to the DfE now and move the money to where it can work for the many not the few.
SEND –As with so many areas, once having started into the issues around SEND several volumes of books would not even begin to look at the basic good, bad and indifferences in the system. However it is beholding to all governors in all schools to ensure that those who are in the SEND group have the support and the appropriate care that meets their needs. Too often this group is the one most likely to suffer when the swimming pool closes or the playing field is sold off for housing or the library can’t buy books or the teaching assistants are cut. Too often they are the main victims when off-rolling takes place, too often let down by the rest of society like psychiatrist who don’t diagnose health and police professionals who don’t share data with schools and many others who isolate them from society.
That said, there are also some centres of remarkable excellence and examples of school’s communities, who go well beyond the norm to include support and develop those with SEND. The question is which school are you? Do you avoid taking you share of SEND children? Do you off-roll those you have? Do you isolate them from other children either by putting them into a lower stream or even a special unit within the school? You have to answer the questions and your conscious, you have to wake up to the consequences of you actions, this is not an area to pull punches, you have to develop a passion for inclusivity or fail society.
Early years –Early years provide the ideal environment for observing many of the potentials and needs of our children it is essential that these are not just dropping off grounds for working families but a place where proper help and suport can be given and qualified observation and understanding can lead to appropriate help and intervention across the community or for the individual. Which will help to resolve issues early and so reduce the development of more intrenched needs that will occur if positive action is not taken early.
Progress –The great beauty of observing and measuring progress is that you can see and reward positive direction and correct negative forces and do this across education health and community or at least that should be the aim. The practice will very much depend on the help guidance and support given to them by those with the power and the authority to do something about the situation, reward the outcomes you want not some artifice lines of judgment standards.
Bureaucracy –It’s at this point you really begin to understand why irony rules OK because the big drive at the moment for the reduction of bureaucracy is from the DfE. My feeling is that to have a real chance of survival in the cut and thrust of 21st century life you need to have or must develop a good sense of humour, of course the alternative for those who can’t see the funny side is to be totally compassionate. The government have realized through austerity that the bureaucracy that they have created for centuries is a cost to us all now the realization has dawned but the argument is not in my view strictly about bureaucracy alone but more about doing the right thing - versus doing things right.
Of course as a person of action my instant cry is do the right thing, what matters is getting straight to the problem solving it and moving on, of course as a writer and communicator I would add you need to tell everyone else how and why the problem needs solving and how you solved it; not for ego but so they can do it in the future, my time should be spent looking for the next opportunity to resolve. Unfortunately the paper work has to be done, the process has to be gone through and the forms filed, the shoulder looked over and the precautions health and safety assessments completed and if I don’t then; there is a lawyer or an accountant or a finger pointer waiting in every nook and cranny to ensure that irrespective of the great satisfaction of the positive lasting and applauded result and even whether it was or wasn’t done or if anything was achieve or not.
The only question for so many will be, was it done right, because to them the outcome is not their income or their motivator but doing thigs according to a set of rules is everything. It is a dilemma of the age because doing things right often does not mean the right results will ensue and often can be a contributor to why it went wrong because the balance was never assed properly there is no absolute answer there is of course always a question of balance but for me anything which reduces the bureaucracy without endangering the result or its implementation (modus operandi) has to be welcomed.
Pupil premium –The spending of this money can and should make a difference to outcomes for all the children in the school especially those who would otherwise struggle. However since the advent of free school meals, families don’t always put down their eligibility to claim pupil premium so that their and all children in the school are potential deprived of funding that could be of benefit to providing useful resources. Perhaps some time should be given to find a different way to ensure the appropriate funding goes to every school and that is another issue for the rule makers and we need to tell them. There are organisations who can check the public records and advise on all those who are eligible to receive the pupil premium so giving the school the opportunity to receive what may be considerable amounts of funding. So, find out what you are doing over this resource.
More importantly once you are receiving the pupil premium governors should be monitoring how it is being spent and the value it is bringing to the disadvantaged children and to the whole school. There are several guides on this available on the Gov .org website one of which is Pupil premium: funding and accountability for schools This covers how much pupil premium funding schools and non-mainstream schools receive, how they should spend it, and how we hold them to account.
Appropriate funding –Are you raising funding in addition to the core funding from government? Are the school letting premises like hall or sports areas or fields to other people or groups in the community? Are there fundraising events in the school? Do parents have a fundraising group or does the school seek additional funding or support from the parents or from the business community? If so, how is that money used and does it advantage all the children in the school? Are their charitable or community grants and programmes that might benefit the school and the children in many different ways.
Are their government grants your school could benefit from? Are there local funds and grants that would benefit the schools? Are the school collaborating with other local schools to take advantage of bulk purchase offers and sharing costs for resources, staffing training experience exchange etc?
Appropriate curriculum –Is the curriculum meeting the needs of the children and of the community? How do you know that and how can you evaluate the curriculum? Does the curriculum provide a focus on both knowledge and skills? There should be a good balance of both in the way lessons are delivered to children and try out what they learn.
Maths and English are the backbone of the curriculum but they do not have to be confined to sitting at a desk or learning by rote they can be integrated into every type of lesson so that History, Geography, Science, Sports, Art and many other subjects can show how the knowledge of Maths and English help our discovery and our skills.
Do the leadership team review the curriculum regularly to include current thinking and new technologies? Does the curriculum provide a broad knowledge of culture music the arts theatre and dance? Do all teachers have access to good CPD and do ideas get shared with other local schools and the community? Do the parents and local community have the opportunity to influence or discuss the curriculum? Does the school offer extracurricular activities for the children and the community?
Deployment of facilities –Schools across any county have a variety of facilities from swimming pools to playing fields, laboratories to libraries, craft centres, catering facilities studios and theatres the question has to be are these being used to the full and to the benefit of the entire community. Could they be shared or hired out to provide additional education opportunities etc? Are the experiences the knowledge the wisdom of your organisation being shared or hired to the benefit of your community? Could some facilities be shared with local schools or business or used to improve facilities for the community and provide facilities for other groups?
Sharing your experiences –As valuable as sharing and using your establishments facilities for the benefit of your community, the experiences you have and the knowledge within your school can be very beneficial to others and despite having arrived in a media age where everyone talks and few listen. There is still a benefit in sharing knowledge with others who are wise enough to talk and to listen. Why not use the surrey governors web site and bulletin to share your ideas with colleagues.
Schools to school support -
This seem like the most natural and straightforward idea schools helping each other. After all, schools do one thing they educate everybody unfortunately they have spent years, decades sometimes centuries in competition with each other for the position as best school; the most exclusive the school that gives its pupils the best chances in life, the best results, the best science, best music, best literature, best maths, the best in sport and even history and I have not even mentioned religion nor social mobility. Now I am saying forget exclusive become inclusive forget beating the school round the corner and bestow your expertise and you great wisdom to help them to enjoy the reputation that you have spent decades building. Well yes you can bet I am, for whoever you are responsible for educating be they the next Prime Minister, the next great scientist, the next great impresario the next butcher baker or candlestick maker, in this day more than ever there is no guarantee as to which teacher in which school within which area is teaching which of our future notables.
However, should that even count because whether the pupil in a class in our school is our next prime minister or the plumber coming to repair our leaking gas tap whether the surgeon about to operate on you or the cleaner who is keeping our hospital clean I as a citizen want the best of service and the greatest expertise from whoever it is who I am reliant on at any or all times. For those people like millions more may by what they do from day to day hold the chance of life and death over me, you or us all; just from how well they do what they do. It therefore surely follows that for society to achieve that confidence every child deserves the best and most appropriate education possible. Strange thing is that does not cost a fortune in financial terms but requires a generosity of mind and a little time with a freedom in thinking about sharing knowledge and expertise to ensure we create a desirable community for all that will be fair and fulfilling to all.
CPDIt goes without saying that the process of continuous professional development is essential everywhere and yet when budgets are tight it is often one of the first things to go. However while professional and external training, moderation and support is valuable it has a cost which should be allowed in budgeting and time. There is though some good news in my experience the best and most valuable training often comes from what is often referred to as “sitting next to Nellie” watching learning and demonstrating with colleagues and that is a great deal less expensive but must not be exclusive to the value of external development.
Self HelpThere are naturally those who will offer a helping hand and those who will keep their expertise a secret to themselves. There are those who believe that having finished the course or their exam that they know it all and there is nothing to learn. There are those who feel that the best they can learn has yet to come and who continue a path of life long learning, reading, researching and most of all questioning and experimenting with everything. This also means accepting a certain amount of failure for it is failure that teaches us more, if, we allow it to be recognised and discussed analysed and improved. I have never been keen on falling onto ones sword or pushing someone onto their sword and certainly not without analysing discussing and seeing the pros and cons of how the result was achieved and especially how things could be done differently next time to achieve a different result. Too often the person who failed is dispatched and replaced with someone who makes all the same mistakes again because time was not taken to learn from the last person with the knowledge of how not to make the mistake again and who is now working for the competition. There is another big thing in self-help the vast majority of people do not hire nor promote people who are cleverer than they are, mainly because of fear of position or loss of prestige, it is a massive failing. Try developing employees and working with the best especially those who share knowledge with everyone. Everything will become better you will find you have or are in the strongest team and if you don’t I guarantee you will one day find yourself working or playing against the strongest team as they are elsewhere. We can all help ourselves and we can all help others to be better, that’s how strong teams are built remember it not failing that is a problem failure is the gift that allows us to improve and succeed its how we use failure that creates our success.
Linkage to parents –Of course every school links to its parents and guardians all the time, if you count the letters, emails, texts and schedules etc being sent home communication would seem constant if you then add in parents in school days, parents evenings, parental activities, summer fairs, plays, concerts and sports days etc then the quantity of communication will fill many a school bag every term but the question is not about what is sent between but what is said and more importantly what is heard and ultimately what is listened to valued and usable. Communication is an exchange an understanding and a beneficial outcome if it is to be valued and continued. Social media has brought us to a point where the only things which matters is what I say and me too; it has next to little to do with understanding nor sharing nor consideration of others. Everyone is talking and few if any are listening. Governors need to check that communications bring about a meaningful and beneficial outcome for all engaged - P911*.
*P911 - is a (Short Message Service (=SMS)) and WhatsApp Abbreviation meaning Parent Alert.
Links to wider community –The same applies to our entire community as it does to our parents but just think about this very fact, everyone in the community has been to school for their education and everyone in school will leave to join with and influence the development of our community our society. Therefore it would seem to me that whatever governors and others can do to engage the school with the community and the community with the school has to form an important part of completing the circle that in the future delivers the type of society with the calibre of people that we desire. through my life I have witnessed serious mismatch between education at every level and the needs of society’s many components. The result of what we have in society is not the failure of educational establishments and it is not the failure of the component parts of our community but it is the failure of all of them to coordinate, collaborate and communicate effectively with each other. In an age of communication we should all hang our heads in shame for failing to remember that the best conversation is when we invite a debate then take the time to listen to the response before plotting an outcome. Further it reduces the opportunity to blame the outcome on the other person if you discourage this selfish thinking all about me and try to think about us. Remember in life little things and small changes can often make the biggest differences.
Optimum support –Governors have access to the wider community to what often is referred to as the ‘real world’ governors are the people who can help to bring the ‘real world’ in while safeguarding is essential and precious to schools and education putting up real and metaphoric fences and electronic gate for security should not stop giving access to the community to support and share and inform the next members of its society or to equip each other with the knowledge of an ever changing world. So facilitating the school arena as a far more community society homogenous development and so helping create the stable society we all crave.
Facilitation –While governors are responsible for the three great duties from the DfE’s Governor’s Handbook (latest update 22/03/2019)
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
• Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
• Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent. There is a further duty of those who have people accountable to them rarely mentioned not in the handbook but which is not always a given and that is to ensure those people who are accountable to us have the facilities to undertake the task we empower them to undertake.
I believe it is also important for governors to pursue the powers that be to ensure the appropriate tools, wisdom and environment for success are provided to those who account to them. While ensuring that every stake holder from the taxpayer to the pupils receive the best value from the money spent and the resources used.
Mental health –This is an area of health which has to some extent been ignored or at least not been featured on agendas but the government have recently changed the approach. Following on from Children’s Mental Health Week (4-10 February), hundreds of children and young people in up to 370 schools in England have been learning to use a range of innovative techniques to promote good mental health from mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions, alongside pupil sessions with mental health experts, one of the largest studies in the world of its kind.
The programme is led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in partnership with University College London, the school study is now in its second wave and recruiting more primary and secondary schools to join. The trials are designed to explore the impact of different approaches at school, in recognition of the significant time children spend at school and the important role teachers can play in recognising changes in pupils’ behaviour or mood. The study will run until 2021 and aims to give schools new, robust evidence about what works best for their students’ mental health and wellbeing.
To support this, the government will be introducing compulsory health education in all schools, within which children will start to be introduced gradually to issues around mental health, wellbeing and happiness right from the start of primary school. So maybe it’s worth taking a closer look at your school’s strategies now.
Health and Safety-This is an area on which Governors should have a close and constant eye and along with the next category Safeguarding be aware that they do and will have some associated areas if either or both are to be truly effective. Most Governors will understand that Health and safety is not just essential to the school premises but when children go on school trips and are driven to events at other premises or are on the public roads while involved in school activities but then there are further issues like the internet and social media also ares of grooming and radicalisation of FMG and home life issues which spill into the responsibilities of health and safety and of safeguarding. There are also the issues of what happens in the event of a terrorist attack or of a lone gunman entering school. Yet more likely but equally as dangerous is the question as to what security exists in a lock down or how does health and safety help in protecting children in the event of custody battles or family abduction. This is neither a full or exhaustive list just an illustration of the many issues which Governors can and should have an input into within their role. Much more information on issues around health and safety is available from Ofsted and from DfE or the NGA all linked on this site.
This is a key area of providing education, no child who feels insecure at school is going to be able to learn well, so creating a safe environment is essential. So important is a safe environment that all staff must read each year part one of the Government’s guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education but not only must all staff read this but the governing body must ensure that all staff have read part one of the guidance. I am not going to fill the pages here with notes on safeguarding. However I will remind governors of four key government documents that governors should be familiar with. Papers to read are available on the DfE pages of this web site and on the governments web site they are Information Sharing, Working Together to Safeguard Children, Keeping Children Safe in Education and What to do if you are worried a child is being abused. This suggested reading is in addition to the advice that having taken a course in safeguarding you should renew your training every three years.
Governors should also read the guide to Ofsted inspections because in recent times a lack of knowledge by Governors of safe guarding procedures and issues in their schools has been a contribution to schools being downgraded by Ofsted.
Value for money-As Governors you may have a broader knowledge of the community especially the commercial sector in your area. Should you have the to negotiate and a little time you could and should be seeking to advise on and help seeking out better values when acquiring services and materials. Remember that cost saving is not only in price but in longevity and security as well as the maintenance of the best in health and safety. The other key issue of all services and materials is the value added in helping the conducting of activities and the general operations in running a school. Most essential is the value added to children’s educations and the improvement to the skills and abilities of the children who benefit directly or indirectly from them. Governors should bear in mind that they are charged with ensuring that at every stage and in every element of education taxpayers get value for money. That does not mean cheap or inferior but it does mean what it says getting the very best value in all areas from the budget available.
Every end is arrived at from the beginningThis has been a list of some of those issues which may be of help especially to new Governors seeking issues to follow up on. There are many more and all schools and all regions will have particular issues of relevance to themselves. The However a word of caution before embarking on an action discuss it with colleagues or more appropriately with your chair of governors first.
The real point though is you become more valuable to helping the next generation to succeed when you get involved with improving the process of their education and working on the strategy for your school and community.
As Governors that is as much about the ability to gain a broad and overall perspective by viewing from the side lines and by giving appropriate time to discover more by learning and then growing the schools value for the tax payers. Who are they, well they may historically be you and your peers of today but they will in the future most certainly be the children whose education you are currently overseeing.
These have been a few of my personal thoughts and guides for governance, there are many others in the world of education - Especially if you ask.