'We are doing a good job' say school governors after Ofsted chief's claims
SCHOOL governors in Nottingham have defended themselves after criticism from the head of a government watchdog.
Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has this week demanded governors across the country be more robust in challenging their schools.
He made the call as he introduced a new "school data dashboard" scheme.
These single-page reports will give the public a simple overview of how effectively a school is performing in tests and exams and its attendance compared to other schools.
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Sir Michael also suggested governors could be paid to increase their professionalism.
In a statement he said that in many cases governing bodies were too weak, making it difficult for schools to improve.
While admitting there were examples of good governing bodies, he added: "In the worst cases, governors can be rather like the jury that was dismissed from a high profile trial last week – ill-informed and not able to make good decisions.
"Many governors know their school well already but, for those that don't, there are now no excuses. Inspectors will be very critical of governing bodies who, despite the dashboard, still don't know their school well enough."
Jose Coles, chairman of the governing body at Blue Bell Hill School in St Ann's, believes they do a good job.
She added: "I'm not sure having paid governors is the right way. First and foremost, governors should be passionate about the school they represent. That is the key to success.
"Money in schools should go to the children – I wouldn't want money for what I do.
"One change which could be made, however, is for governors at high-performing schools to go into those which aren't doing so well to help out. In that case, you could make a case for paying them."
Sylvia Tye, chairman of governors at Trinity School in Aspley, said: "I feel our governing body does a very good job.
"My children went to this school so I'm very keen to ensure it does well.
"We have a good relationship with staff in the school and it works well.
"In our case, I don't feel there's a need for changes."
Both the city and county councils have been appealing for more people to become governors at schools, with the issue being particularly acute in Notts.
Last September, the authority revealed there were 511 vacancies in Notts.