NLG Life - October 2015
'National Leader of Governance' is a rather grand-sounding title for a 'helping out' kind of role. There are currently 5 NLGs across Derbyshire and our task is to support other Chairs of Governors and governing bodies to help them improve their performance. NLG time is offered by volunteers and with a supportive, non-judgmental approach. We are here to help and not assess! In the current climate the emphasis is very much on working school-to-school in a collaborative way to learn and develop. It certainly fits with our community-based ethos. It also gives us the chance to share best practice and learn from others.
This past week, my NLG life has involved helping two governing bodies at Derbyshire primary schools feel prepared and ready for an Ofsted visit. This involves looking at the criteria that is applied to the leadership and management of the school and being prepared to talk through the good evidence that the school has to support fulfilling this criteria. In broad terms, Ofsted are looking to ensure that governors:
- Set the vision, ethos and strategy for the school (evidence of ambition and a future focus)
- Hold school leaders accountable for the school's performance (evidence of support and challenge, monitoring activity and performance management)
- Spend the school's finances well (evidence of good budget management and spending linked to learning needs)
In the challenging and often complex role of governance it is helpful to simplify our purpose to these 3 core activities and remember, as governors, this is what we are here to do.
As we showed one local Chair of Governors around our school today for some shared learning, Mrs Mason made us smile by pointing out that our children even quote back our school vision to Mr Crawford in their writing. It's so embedded in our approach, that they comfortably remind him that we 'aim to be an outstanding school in the heart of the community'. It's good to know the message has stuck!