23 SES 13 B, Governing by Inspection: School Inspecting as Brokering and Mediating Work
This paper examines the role of school governors in England and the way in which their role is becoming increasingly pivotal to educational governance. Education in England is undergoing some of the most substantial changes since The Education Act 1944. These changes imply far greater financial autonomy for schools and a concomitant diminution in the traditional role of The Local Education Authority in the provision of key school support services. Both elements combine to place increasing pressure on school governors as agents of governance: they need to take a central role in school improvement, whilst also retaining many of their traditional responsibilities. This paper suggests that within the present system of school governing in England the role of the school governor is at a watershed and that within this new environment governing bodies are increasingly struggling to fulfil their democratic representative, regulatory, strategic and school improvement function. These changes are also giving rise to considerable challenge for the English Inspectorate Ofsted in terms of their role in judging the quality of school leadership and management. Failure to address these considerable issues will in the longer term compromise the integrity ,efficacy and democratic function of educational governance in England.
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