X Close

IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


What do 'skills' mean for school governing bodies?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 2 June 2016

Helen Young
In a recently published article[i] in the Journal of Education Policy (JEP), I traced how governors with ‘skills’ are increasingly privileged over representative governors. I wrote about the ongoing devaluation of representative governors and of any hint of democracy in school governance. However, I did not predict that representative parent governors would soon be deemed entirely unnecessary as they have been in the recently published schools White Paper. In this the Government states:
“We will expect all governing boards to focus on seeking people with the right skills for governance, and so we will no longer require academy trusts to reserve places for elected parents on governing boards.” (p.51, my emphasis)
It is worth considering what ‘skills’ means. On the one hand, a remarkable number of the trustees of multi academy trusts have the skills of managing private equity and hedge funds. On the other hand, many would argue that being a parent requires a wide range of (more…)