Time for Governors to take a Strategic Lead

By Geoffrey Hackett

For a Schools-Led System to develop effectively from within the current individual school structures it will need to become stronger through: - collaboration, cooperation and rationalisation. This needs strong leadership as well as good supportive management hence the importance of understanding the difference between these two skill sets which fewer people than you may think, actually do. A Schools-Led System could mean significant leaps forward and a far better education for all children, if we get it right. If it is going to work and to last, it is going to require positive drive and emotional intelligence, which is so feared by management, but essential to good leadership.

A Schools-Led System if it is to be valued and to improve the education of our children then rewarding the attitudes and actions we desire as outcomes is essential. We cannot continue to reward the wrong milestones but ensure the path leads to all students leaving education best equipped for whatever their journey in life and society may be.

Why Leadership? It could be that much of what has been established so far has been developed by managers with leadership aspirations. This is unhelpful, for good, even excellent, managers rarely make good leaders and while leaders recognise and seek out the assistance of good managers, a difficulty is good managers rarely recognise leaders’ qualities or understand why they succeed. Consequently it needs good Governors to exploit the many opportunities created by the changing environment, to use its reform to create real meaningful cost effective benefits for all and ensure that the focus is on sharing, caring, collaboration and cooperation working for the prime interest of inclusivity and of ensuring the best-value highest standard education for all children.

For in times of change some prejudices can inadvertently get in the way of progress. Governors will need to work with all players to support strategic governance and leaders must use the best from their experience, to examine the latest trends and ensure that changing to a Schools-Led System is as dynamic and rewarding as it should be for all stakeholders.