• Graeme Sloan

School Governance and Accountability how we can help?

Updated: Aug 12




As with any kind of leadership, a position as a school governor brings with it some heavy responsibilities.


Those serving in this capacity hold the ultimate responsibility for the success of the schools under their leadership. While head teachers assume responsibility for the school’s day-to-day routines, the weightier burden of the school’s success in meeting educational targets rests squarely on the shoulders of the school governors.


This responsibility includes accountability in school budgeting. School governors must answer to their constituents for finding cost-effective solutions to budgeting challenges. More importantly for giving the teachers the tools with which to educate the pupils.


Fortunately, procurement is one way to share some of that responsibility with someone who values your school’s success as much as you do.

Structures

According to a December 2019 Parliament file on school governance, the responsibilities of school governors are:

● Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

● Holding senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils

● Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent


In maintained schools, this board comprises five or six positions which include the head teacher (if desired), a foundation governor for faith schools, an elected staff governor, and at least two parent governors.....


This small group of leaders bears responsibility for reviewing data, visiting the schools, asking tough questions when necessary to hold staff members accountable for success (or lack thereof).


In many schools, the board of governors also holds responsibility for recruiting and hiring staff members, including the head teacher.


Finally (by far), governors must ensure that the school budget is sustainable. To do so, they often need to think outside the box, coming up with creative and feasible solutions to stretch their budgets as far as possible without compromising quality.


Procurement can be a helpful tool to share budgetary responsibilities with a reliable third party, especially if that third party is knowledgeable about procurement and shares the same values as key stakeholders.

The Future

According to a 2019 article in Headteacher Update, reforms in the UK’s education system are likely to lead to horizontal structures of accountability in which there is peer-to-peer collaboration across school networks.


There is recognition that accountability in our schools is not a job for one person, or even just for one group of people.


The larger issues around responsible spending in school budgets can be ethically and effectively discharged with procurement.


For this process to work successfully, school governors will need procurement experts with a clear understanding of what’s at stake.


An effective procurement specialist knows how to build and maintain relationships with a variety of vendors to ensure responsible spending.


That takes at least some of the burden for responsible spending off the plate of your board of governors, sharing it with a team of partners who are invested in the outcome. That way, your board of governors can focus on the more pressing issues of ensuring educational excellence.


If you’re looking to simplify and streamline accountability processes for your school governors, reach out to the experts at Procurement4education.

We can

· review your existing spend

· identify problems in your contracts that are hurting the school

· make recommendations on how to improve your processes

· provide you with a set of tools that will enable your staff to improve their procurements

· we will show the value our processes are delivering to the school in pounds and pence

So please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation.

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