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Ensuring clarity of vision and strategic direction is one of the three core functions of governing boards. To assist governors and trustees in their strategic role, the National Governance Association and Wellcome have published Being Strategic: a guide for governing boards, three years after the popular original guide – a Framework for Governance – was released.
Following extensive feedback and consultation with governors, trustees and senior leaders and drawing on practical experience and real life examples, Being Strategic offers a robust annual cycle for creating, monitoring and reviewing strategy. It provides advice, poses questions for governing boards on each stage of the cycle, and supports school leaders in taking a broad and long-term perspective.
With an evolution in governance over recent years – including the growth of multi academy trusts – there is now a diverse range of governance structures. Therefore, the guide has been written to offer leaders in all settings a framework that they can use to set a strategy for their organisation.
The guidance urges governing boards to look beyond narrow academic performance measures when monitoring the strategy stating ‘in the interest of pupils [the measures] must consider the whole education offer. Not all improvement priorities are quantitative and some of the most important outcomes will not lend themselves to simple quantitative measurement.’
If you are running an event for governing boards or senior leaders (with more than 30+ delegates) and would like receive copies of the guide free of charge, get in touch with Shelby Roberts – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published a guide for governing boards on Understanding your Data. The guide sets out the broad range of information governing boards might consider when fulfilling their core functions. The guidance also features optional templates and explanations on how to use exceptions reports, comparisons to key benchmarking data and features a list of useful resources.
Your evidence base will support you to develop, monitor and deliver your school or trust strategy, inform discussions about the curriculum, education standards and ensure probity in the deployment of resources.
Any information collected should align with the strategic improvement priorities of the school or trust and agreed on at the beginning of the year in partnership with executive leaders to avoid excessive workload and duplication.