Accredited Courses for School Governors
While supporting school governors in Dorset, Nigel worked with David Rees, then School Improvement Officer and Coordinator of Governor Services, and Martin Corrick of the University of Southampton, to write and deliver:
Governing Schools 1: Education in the 1990s
This course of 12 meetings for serving school governors leads to 15 credits towards the Certificate of Higher Education.
The course explores the history of state schools, their nature and purpose, their management and governance and their relationship with the Local Education Authority. By the end of the course, governors will have acquired a good understanding of the nature and purpose of schools in the English education system
Governing Schools 2: The Effective Governing Body
This further course of 12 meetings for serving school governors also leads to 15 credits towards the Certificate of Higher Education.
The course explores the legal duties of the Governing Body and its role in effective governance. Focusing particularly on methods of planning, monitoring and evaluating the work of the school, the course examines case studies, key texts and research findings. By the end of the course, governors will have gained a clear understanding of the roles and executive functions of the Governing Body, and will have acquired strategic skills. Specifically, they will be aware of a range of techniques for the management and improvement of the Governing Body and, through it, the school itself.
Wales Governor Training Consortium
From 2000, Nigel, with colleague Ann Lancett, prepared and delivered a new course for school governors in Wales, sponsored by the Wales Governor Training Consortium. The Consortium is led by Governors Wales (see www.governorswales.org.uk), and the pilot course involved three LEAs in South Wales: Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Vale of Glamorgan. Since its first trial , the course has also been offered in Gwynnedd, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Wrexham and Ynys Mon.
The course, leading to credits at Levels 2 and 3 from the South East Wales Open College Network, is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. It comprises 16 taught sessions of 2 hours each and has made a significant contribution to the training of school governors in Wales.
Estyn (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales) says of the course:
"The scheme is effective in developing governors skills and expertise; and other LEAs could benefit significantly from the schemes expansion into their authorities."
The completion rate for the training is high and a significant number of participants submit evidence for the award of credits. The evaluation points to governors
- improved confidence
- enhanced ability to contribute at governing body meetings; and
- readiness to seek and analyse appropriate information about their school.
In addition, the LEAs involved benefit from a group of well-informed governors who are able to offer support to their colleagues and contribute to other LEA governor training.