Academy boards: Government u-turn on plan to end the requirement for parent governors

14/09/2016

Justine Greening, the new Secretary of State for Education, announced today that she will not be pursuing plans to remove the current requirement for elected parent places on each academy board.  

Since the release of the White Paper (Educational Excellence Everywhere) in March this year, NGA stridently opposed the Government’s intention and, with the support of partners, launched a campaign to #KeepParentsGoverning

But answering questions from a committee of MPs today, Justine Greening confirmed she had reconsidered the plan. She said: “I don’t think we should be saying that MATs don’t need to have parent governors. I think parent governors play a vital role.

“I was a governor for 15 years...parents played a vital role on the governing body I was a part of. One way we can ensure that schools who are doing a less good job improve is getting parents more involved.”

Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governors’ Association, welcomed today’s announcement, saying: “We are extremely pleased that Justine Greening, the new Secretary of State, is not going to remove the requirement for academy boards to have reserved places for elected parents after all.

“The proposal in March’s White Paper was wrong on a number of counts. We need to make sure governing boards have a range of people with diverse backgrounds, skills and knowledge. Parents with pupils in the school bring important knowledge as well as other skills.  Almost half of those governing in schools began as elected parent governors and it is incredibly important we continue to value this source of volunteers. 

“There are other ways of making schools even more accountable to parents and we now look forward to having that conversation with ministers.”

Click here for further coverage in Schools Week.

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