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Leadership webinar: the future of governance (video and webchat)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by AndrewFIS, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    As school structures and types evolve, so governance arrangements are changing.

    As part of the TES Leadership webinar series, I’ll be putting your questions to Richard Levinge, director of Ease Training.

    We will examine how schools can understand how to manage the process towards change.

    Post your questions below now - and, if you can, join in our live webchat on April 12 at 4.30pm.

    Before that, you can watch a video we’ve made in which Richard and I discuss the issues, with key advice for school leaders.

    1920x1080-leadership-video-still-v2.jpg

    To access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Leadership subscriber.
     
  2. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The webinar video will be available for seven days in this thread after the webchat. If you wish to view the webinar after 19th April or to access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Institutional subscriber. You can find out more information here.
     
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Hi,

    Don't forget to submit your questions below ahead of next week's webchat.

    Thank you.
     
  4. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Good afternoon and welcome to today’s webchat.


    The TES Leadership webchats give you the opportunity to put your questions to industry experts about key school management and operational issues.

    In a few moments I will hand you over to Andrew, who is editor of FIS, who will be hosting this week's hour-long webchat.

    Andrew and this week's guest, leadership expert panel member Richard Levinge, director of Ease Training, who will be available for the next hour to answer your questions.

    If you have any questions please submit them below. Don't worry if we run out of time, any unanswered questions will be responded to and posted on this thread later this week.

    I'll now hand you over to Andrew.





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    Please click here for full Terms and Conditions which apply to all TES Global’s websites.
     
  5. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Hello and welcome to this webchat on the future of governance. Joining me is Richard Levinge, director of Ease Training. For those of you following this thread, please feel free to post your query. Remember to refresh your page to see the updates as they appear.
    Thanks for joining us, Richard.

    How has governance in schools changed over recent years?
     
  6. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    There have been a significant number of changes - and there will continue to be so. Why? A few factors...

    • A much wider variety of institutions eg large MATs, smaller MATs, single academy, more varieties of faith schools, grammar schools, sponsored academies, UTCs, free schools, maintained schools, grammar schools etc – all require Governors.
    • Clearer and more prescriptive guidance
    • Moving to skills not stakeholder based Governors
    • Increased self evaluation
    • Major challenge everywhere of budgets and value for money
    • Challenge of keeping the pupils in the spotlight with so much pressure on structure, budgets, litigation etc
    All of these demand tighter, more focussed and determined Governance.
     
  7. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What are the new and future challenges?
     
  8. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Lots of new challenges - for example
    • Challenge of defining correct strategy in terms of academisation
    • If not an academy - should we join a MAT or establish one - what is the benefit to our pupils?
    • Costs and budgets whilst maintaining focus on quality of pupil progress
    • Diminishing facilities – greater fight for Capital funding
    • Continual confusing guidance from RSCs - inconsistent and vaguely defined
    • Increasing difficulty in recruiting and retaining quality leadership
    • Leading disillusioned workforce
    • Identifying the value in new initiatives especially online
    • Keeping pupils staff and schools safe online
    • Time........ and Governors are volunteers
     
  9. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How prepared are schools for these changes?
     
  10. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    It varies – depends on the quality of vision and strategy of the Governors. Risk management vital and keeping abreast of changes and funding opportunities and challenges.

    The MAJOR problem is the continued lack of funding. As a Chair of Governors myself, I know how difficult it is to develop an improvement strategy when costs and avoidance of deficits take up a significant amount of Governors' time. It is very difficult to move forward structural changes when there is little or no funding assistance to develop plans...and pressure from the RSCs to do so.

    So Schools want to be prepared but there is little space to enable development until the DfE helps with the costs.
     
  11. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How does governance differ between that at academy and multi-academy trust levels?
     
  12. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    The MAT board has overriding powers. At Stand alone Academy level, the Board of Directors is the Governing body.
    Where there are more than one school in a Trust, the effectiveness of Governance at Board and local levels depends on the scheme of delegation – the document that delegates decisions and accountability from the Main Board to Local Governing bodies.

    The MAT Board cannot devolve responsibility and there is a major challenge and potential tension with historic School Governing Boards losing their responsibility and control over their school budget and support services. However intelligent delegation, and respect, from the MAT Board should be able to ensure an individual school’s identity and the accountability of its leadership team without stifling creativity and appropriate local decision making. As I said, it’s all in the scheme of delegation which should be brief, clear and regularly reviewed.
     
  13. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    In practice, what are the potential benefits?
     
  14. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    The centralisation of non teaching costs, and skills based Board members with a higher level of skill and functional Knowledge than is generally found in a local Governing body – eg Premises, Commercial operations,HR, Finance. An effective and complete Board can deploy resources where best needed amongst its schools.
     
  15. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    And the potential risks?
     
  16. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Major challenges in a MAT are that of communication and shared vision. The vision must be shared by all schools and regularly refreshed. Strong leadership is vital - the Leader has to motivate and strengthen the Heads and SMTs of their schools - people who are by nature vociferous and willing to express their opinions and dissent.
    Tensions are inevitable between individual schools and the Board if communications are inadequate, and there is a lack of perceived voice. Disenchantment of the local governors is possible as their control is removed.
     
  17. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Overall, how are academies/MATs coping with this new environment?
     
  18. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Impossible to generalize – many examples of good practice, and some of confusion and internal tension. Again, the success depends on the Leadership - this is so important. It is essential to have a strong Chair and Head or CEO. As MATs grow the CEO role differs increasingly from the traditional role of the Head - so regular skills review is essential to maintaining growth and progress.
     
  19. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    What are the areas of governance in which schools could be more effective?
     
  20. Richard_Levinge

    Richard_Levinge New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Again difficult to generalise but from the schools that I have visited, it is so important for everyone to keep focussed on the imperative -delivering an excellent education to all our young people. Most do, but it is vital to understand the principles of Governance - eyes on, hands off. Too many Boards get bogged down in the transactional when their role is to scrutinise, challenge and deliver the Strategy. In particular, understanding the data, the ethos and broader culture of the school can be emphasised more - if only finance wasn't such a pressure.
     

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