October 13th, 2012
posted by Paul Garvey
The same way that AfL for pupils is their complete immersion in their assessment processes, the same should be true for (staff and) governors. To do that, get them into classrooms and let them see how the quality of teaching is judged and how assessment works in practice. Either do this with the SLT (a governor’s week?) , as a part of staff’s formal performance management observations, or get them to observe , in pairs, with someone like me, who has the kind of experience of observing lessons and judging the quality of teaching that would help them. Include them in the discussions afterwards and listen in and even contribute to, the feedback to staff. Ask staff to volunteer their services to be observed. Governors would learn so much more than simply the mechanics of observation and would be so much more knowledgeable about the workings of classrooms in the school. Governor discussions could be transformed and governors would feel far more valued and a part of the school.
In addition, invite some governors into the initial SLT discussions about RAISE and the summer results. Don’t exclude them and then send them a results summary to discuss. The attendees at that meeting could then discuss in detail what the HT/Principal and the SLT feel about the results and the GB would be able to challenge the school much more ably as a result.
That approach really does work; I’ve led those discussions round the table with governors and SLT in primaries and secondaries and I’ve done joint lesson observations with governors.
In addition there are new expectations of governors, regarding their knowledge of the fiscal workings of the school and HT performance management, in the September 2012 framework, which is worthwhile getting your heads around.