University of Bath

The state of school governing in England 2014

An IPR Policy Brief examining the vital role governors play in the UK education system.

School governors play a vital role in the UK education system. However, research by the University of Bath shows that schools often struggle to recruit governors with the necessary backgrounds and skillsets. Initial research which began in 2008, and culminated in the report Governing our Schools, found that governors who brought with them experience from paid employment commonly made a significant contribution to school governing, and that the skills which made school governing bodies effective could be found in workplaces across the country. In early 2014, University of Bath researchers from the Department of Education, in conjunction with the National Governors Association (NGA), conducted a national survey of governors with a focus on governor recruitment, retention and effectiveness. The findings provide valuable insight into the contribution of school governing bodies and identify key areas in which improvements can benefit the UK education system as a whole.