The National Governors’ Association (NGA) has been working with Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and others to promote and support the work of governing body clerks. For school governing bodies to be effective, they need the support of a professional clerk to advise them on their duties and how best to fulfil them.
At NGA’s Summer Conference
on 6 July 2013, Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, commented: “Professional boards also need professional support. Which means clerking that goes way beyond simply taking down the minutes” and that “the NGA and others have made a very persuasive case for a more skilled approach; with clerks recognised as having a responsibility for providing boards with sound advice on their duties and functions and how to exercise them”.
The importance of high quality, dedicated support for governing bodies was a strong theme during the House of Commons Education Select Committee inquiry
on the role of school governing bodies. “An effective clerk is vital to the success of a governing body. The evidence clearly indicates that this should be a professional role - similar to a company secretary.’ It was recommended that the government act upon the findings of the project by the NGA and SOLACE relating to clerks.
As part of our Clerking Matters campaign
we are conducting a survey of clerks. The survey is now open to all
clerks in state funded schools in England (maintained and academies).
Please encourage your clerk to take part in the survey and forward the link onto other clerks. The results of the survey will be reported in NGA’s Governing Matters magazine
Take the survey here.
Mark Rogers, President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE):
“SOLACE has been working with the NGA to raise the profile and further improve the professionalism of clerks to governing bodies. We believe that in an increasingly autonomous school system good governance and good clerking will only become more important. We are delighted with the Education Select Committee’s acknowledgement of the importance of clerks to governing bodies and its recommendation that the DfE act upon our work with the NGA. As part of this we are supporting the NGA to conduct a survey of clerks. Please encourage your clerk to take the survey and spread the word – Clerking Matters!”