Just a little bloggette to tell you all about the start of what we hope will be a fantastic initiative – the RSA School Governance Network.
The way we govern our schools and colleges is going through a period of upheaval. The DCSF are holding a national review of how English schools (and colleges) are run throughout this year. We’ve also just seen a report into the future of school governance from Business In The Community, following the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report last year.
There are already many models for governing schools emerging as schools become more diverse – academies, trust schools, comps… Many are arguing that governing bodies’ purpose should be holding school heads to account, giving them a narrower focus on academic performance. Earlier indications are that the review may recommend governing bodies should be smaller, with more of an emphasis on skills rather than community representation.
There’s never been a better time to ask what education governance is really for, who should have the right to do it and what practical activities it should be involved in. We’ve had many people say to us that what’s needed is a space for people involved in running schools to exchange ideas and experiences of improving what’s already out there, or even doing something completely new.
That’s the ambition behind the RSA Governance Network. We invited Fellows to tell us what they thought school governance is for, and on the 18th of October a group of volunteers came together to write a vision statement for the new initiative and set its priorities.
Although the network is looking at governance in schools and colleges and very much draws upon the RSA Education Campaign’s Charter, we know governing isn’t about micromanaging classroom teachers but about shared vision and community leadership. What’s really exciting about the network is it’s looking at how we can all get involved in making our local education institutions better at responding to our changing society. It’s about being active citizens.
I’m writing up the workshop’s priorities as a full project proposal at the moment. I’ll share my ideas here very soon. In the mean time, do read the network’s vision statement and have your say here.