Thursday, 28 February 2013

(in the style of Spartacus: I am a school governor!)

So some honesty... I am a school governor. The Secretary of State and the HMCI need to know that I am neither a hero ... nor a villain. Like many school governors I have a multiplicity of work commitments as well as other community commitments (oh... and a family...) and I acknowledge that there is more that I could do to support the school where I am currently 'governing'. To do more for the school I would have to do less elsewhere and withdraw my participation in the two charities for whom I am a Trustee.

If I was paid for my governing, as some have suggested, it would not draw me away from those other responsibilities because I am passionately committed to those things as well and would not abandon them for a 'mess of potage'. I also believe the school benefits from everything else I'm involved with and would fear that professionalising my input might actually reduce the richness of its value.

I know that the leadership of the school needs both challenge and support from me as a 'critical friend' ... and that's what I do ... but I understand the Head needs to know she has my 100% support before - and as - and after - I bring the challenge.

So do I like the new dashboard... yes...I'm an at-a-glance, grab-the-big-picture person so it works for me and does the job that all data should do... prompts the 'why?' question.

However the $64k question is: Will the new dashboard help me do my governing job... Answer: No. It is a mere 'skimming the surface' of a school profile... yes a mile-o-meter and speedometer... but no warning lights, no fuel gauge, no rev's telling me what has happened and if it comes out in February every year there's a danger that looking that far back in the rear-view mirror might take our gaze off the road in front of this year's cohort...Our Head already works on providing us with a detailed dashboard at every Standards and  Achievement Committee meeting, and updates it with 'live 'data for any and every time she meets with a group of Governors. That's useful!

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