Give employees time off for Governor duties at academies and free schools - CBI report
The CBI has published a report that argues that much more is needed to strengthen leadership and governance to deliver a world-class schools system, including an expansion of the right to time off for governors’ duties to be extended to academies and free schools.
The leading business organisation warns that if schools are to make the most of their new freedoms, school governing bodies need to improve. A return to local control is undesirable, whereas more effective governing bodies, held to account by Ofsted, could help drive higher performance.
Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills policy, said:
“Handing control over education to schools themselves is the right move. But it can only work if the quality of governing bodies is high and Ofsted holds them to account. We need strong leadership and even stronger governance.
“We must put the right foundations in place to make the most of greater freedom for schools, defaulting to the old ways of doing things is not the answer. And returning to Local Authority control would be a retrograde step.
“It’s such a fundamentally important issue that business is happy to extend the obligation for firms to release staff for governor duties to be widened to academies and free schools.
“We need greater partnership between the Government and businesses to deliver the right structures to lift performance across all our schools – and help every child fulfil their potential.”
The report calls for:
• A new focus on school governance, as better school governors are the key to making school reform work. The CBI strongly backs devolving powers to head teachers
• As a sign of how important businesses think governors are, the CBI calls for the right to time off for governors duties to be extended to academies and free schools
• There should be no increase in local authority control – this would be a retrograde step from empowering heads
• We must create a culture of continuous professional development in schools – that’s why a Royal College of Teaching is a good idea
• Schools, governing bodies and businesses should recognise the value of school leaders having greater industry experience – encouraging more interchange between schools and industry
• Ensuring the frameworks and structures are in place to support and create greater accountability – including a renewed focus on governing bodies