Professor James presented his research evidence as a witness to the Select Committee's inquiry into School Governing on 31 January.

In his evidence Professor James suggested the following:

  • That the profile of school governing should be raised by the Government and by governors themselves.
  • Chairs should be made responsible for the functioning of governing bodies.
  • Ofsted should inspect school governing more rigorously. As part of that, Ofsted should inspect a governing body’s training and the clerking arrangements.
  • The Governing Body of outstanding schools that are not inspected as frequently as other schools should be required to submit an annual risk analysis that analyses the risks to the school’s outstanding status.
  • Governing bodies should be required to make an annual report to the school’s stakeholders which would be published on the school’s website.
  • The current stakeholder model should be maintained. Every local school should have a ‘local governing body’ which comprises people who have a strong and legitimate interest in the school and who ideally live locally the school.
  • Ensure that all governing bodies have a well-trained and competent clerk.
  • Improve headteacher performance management.
  • This is not the time to make radical changes to the arrangements for governing schools.