Improving schools’ performance by improving governors’ skills
We’re helping governing boards to raise the bar at almost 1,500 English schools by developing their skills and expertise with our GovernorSpace digital self-evaluation tool and mentoring and training programme.
In January 2018, Entrust won a place on the Department for Education’s framework to provide training to school governing boards and their clerks, aiming to develop their knowledge and skills in line with the Government’s competency frameworks – and, ultimately, provide high quality governance that will make their schools more efficient and effective.
The government has identified effective and professional governance as being critical to schools’ long-term success, and it set aside £1.5m a year until 2020 to build governing boards’ capacity by helping Chairs to drive change and by making clerks more professional.
The DfE said it wanted to deliver “a step change in the quality of governance, particularly for boards in the highest-priority situations”.
We’re recruiting governors and clerks onto our training programme, GovernorSpace, helping them to identify areas where they need to develop and then strengthen their skills at their own pace.
Our online GovernorSpace platform is a place for governors and clerks to register with the programme and receive training. It includes:
- A self-evaluation tool based on the Competency Framework for Governance and the Clerking Competency Framework
- A personalised development plan, built on the results of the self-evaluation
- A range of digital learning and development courses, including webinars, bespoke training and coaching, delivered by Entrust experts
- Online mentoring by trusted national and local educational leaders who can demonstrate their positive impact on schools
- Robust evidence for Ofsted that schools are raising standards
- An online directory of school governors to help programme participants find extra support.
More than 1,470 schools have benefited from the GovernorSpace programme over the past two and a half years. More than 6,000 governors and clerks across 151 local authorities have registered, making an average of 70 visits to the website each day, and 1,698 have completed their self-evaluation exercise. Users have completed 4,529 training courses and 2,010 mentoring calls.
We’re giving school governors the skills and knowledge to provide strategic leadership and data-driven accountability for their schools’ educational standards and financial performance, and we’re helping clerks to develop the expertise they need to make sure their governing boards are functioning effectively.
We’re also enabling governors to improve their knowledge and skills across the six areas of the Competency Framework for Governance and effectively fulfil their three core functions of ensuring their school has clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; holding their school’s executive leaders to account for its educational performance; managing the performance of their school’s staff.
I found the programme to be worthwhile and it certainly gave me added confidence in my role as Chair – I previously came from industry and had very little knowledge of education, particularly that in special schools
It was great to have that one-on-one call [with a mentor] to discuss the areas you need support in. It isn’t always a case of looking at a list of subjects and knowing what you need to complete. The mentor also knows the content of the courses and is able to highlight ones that might not be obvious. It was really useful to be able to talk through the various options and my needs
The programme gives guidance to develop leadership skills, and has helped to give confidence to a member of the board to take on the chairmanship. We have become more strategic and able to record our activities to show impact.