I spend most of my time working in schools that have fallen foul of Ofsted – so are either RI or Special Measures, and it can be a very unforgiving place. Colleagues feeling battered and bruised and are reeling with the mountain of work and the expectations they face to bring their schools around. Most are stoic and determined to move onwards and upwards. For staff, that comes with huge amounts of scrutiny; data analysis, observations, book scrutinies, constant accountability and, for Governors; a critical self-review, a re-evaluation of their role and a huge re- commitment to spending time and energy in a voluntary role. An intense environment for everyone involved.
There are key pieces of advice that I share with Governors:
1. No matter how hard the decision, it’s got to be about the children;
2. impact and evidence – any decision you make as a Governing Body, what’s the impact and what’s the supporting evidence?
3. learn from it, draw a line and move on.
This week I have picked up a nugget of advice from a fellow tutor at Essex Governor Service which has just gone to the top of my mantra list for Governors – “Monitor the joy”. Perhaps we should all make that a starting point.