On-Line Bid for Governors
Collins, Tony, Birmingham Evening Mail (England)
A WEBSITE has been opened on the Internet for would-be school governors in Birmingham in a bid to end an alarming shortage.
Latest figures reveal a worrying 1,200 vacancies in classrooms across the city. This is out of a total of 6,500 governors for the whole for Birmingham.
Phil Astle, the city's schools support manager, said: 'This is far too many vacancies and we need to reduce those dramatically.
'Our recruitment and retention of governors is far too low.'
He added: 'At the end of the day it comes down to whether we really value governors and, if we do value them, do we provide them with enough support?'
Of the governor vacancies, 369 are the responsibility of Birmingham education authority, out of a total of 1,308.
However parent governors, which provide the largest total at 1,685, have only 187 vacancies at the present time.
This is despite legislation which required every school to appoint an extra parent governor from September last year.
Mr Astle told members of Birmingham's education and lifelong learning scrutiny committee that a number of new measures were being introduced in a bid to ease the shortage.
These include training programmes, an annual review meeting, a governor's handbook and also a website where people can access information about what the job entails.
'There has been a clear shift in emphasis for governors from just having a legal duty to perform to what is now much more of a monitoring role,' he added.
Coun Tony Kennedy said: 'Perhaps we ought to be looking at governor mentors to go into schools and work with governing bodies that need help and support. …