A large-scale survey of school governors carried out by SEG company Strictly Education paints a detailed picture of how school governance has adapted to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioned ahead of National School Governors’ Awareness Day in February, the survey took the pulse of 212 school governors across the country to gauge their experiences keeping schools running in the face of the last two years’ hardships. The results bring into sharp focus the scale and pace of changes governors have had to undertake, and the resilience they have shown in doing so.
60% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had made it harder to fulfill their duties. While this increase in friction is concerning without necessarily being unexpected, the survey suggests that it has not proved insurmountable for school governors, with 63% testifying that their effectiveness had not been reduced. 19% of those surveyed even claimed that they had become more effective since the pandemic began.
The technological step changes forced by the pandemic have been strikingly well-received. Over 80% of governors agreed that virtual meetings had worked well for them, with a particularly pronounced impact upon the 60% of respondents who had found it easier to attend training sessions.
Onerous workloads and poor mental wellbeing among staff remain issues of concern for 90% of governors. There is confidence within the profession that governing bodies can make a positive impact here by conducting audits into schools’ performance in these areas.
Writing this week in The Headteacher, Steve Barker, head of governance services at Strictly Education, had a fundamental question for his colleagues across the sector:
“Do we want to go back to a pre-pandemic model of governance? Or should we embrace some of the positive developments made since March 2020 and create a new, more effective model?”
Whatever changes are yet to come in this often-unsung aspect of school and academy trust leadership, Supporting Education Group will be at the forefront through Strictly Education’s suite of services for schools.
To hear about the package of services SEG can provide for your school, get in touch today.