Guernsey Press

New plans for school governors secure support at meeting

THE idea of having boards of governors for all States-run education establishments was well-received by representatives of school committees at a meeting on Tuesday night, said the president of Education, Sport and Culture.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31697871)

ESC is seeking to revise the 1970 Education Law which would see the committee removed from having direct governance of all of the 20 States-maintained education settings, and bring in governance boards. If approved, this would also lead to the end of the school committees, which ESC president Andrea Dudley-Owen said were not the same as governing boards, and did not have any responsibility for a school’s overall governance. Tuesday’s meeting was well attended and very productive, she said.

‘From my perspective I felt our proposals for the new law to introduce boards of governors were well received.

‘We acknowledge that those who currently volunteer their time on school committees have much to offer and in asking the group for expressions of interest we hope many will, subject to the States’ support for our final policy proposals, consider putting themselves forwards for roles on the governance boards in due course.’

The roles and responsibilities of school committees have reduced over the years as the system and its support systems have evolved, she said before the meeting.

While they did have some ‘valued duties’ they would be removed to ensure there was no confusion with the new system being proposed.

The role of education governors is to support and challenge school leaders on behalf of their communities, she said.

But Deputy Dudley-Owen said the island has always been in the unusual position of not having formal groups of governors for the States schools. Instead ESC’s politicians have direct responsibility for governing 20 education settings and some 7,000 students.

‘[This is] a challenging task for such a small group of people to carry out effectively,' she said.

Interim governing boards had been established to assist the committee’s thinking, she said.

‘The committee wants to overhaul our system of education governance, so that the responsibilities of school leaders, school governors and the political committee are all separately and clearly defined. Headteachers need regular support and challenge as they focus on day-to-day education delivery.’

If approved, the boards would be backed by legislation outlining their purpose, constitution and high-level duties.

n A consultation document is available at