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Schools: Standards

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he has (a) commissioned and (b) supported research into the impact on governing bodies and their chair of a school being put into special measures. (124453)

The Department has not commissioned or supported research into the impact on governing bodies of a school that is placed in special measures. For such a school the local authority has a duty to prepare a statement of action within 10 working days and we expect urgent action to be taken by the authority, governing body and others involved to improve provision at the school as soon as possible.

This will inevitably involve a good deal of hard work, but a well organised governing body can spread its workload by setting up committees to consider various matters on, for example, curriculum, finance and management issues. Support from the local authority can include the appointment of additional members to strengthen the governing body.

Where the Ofsted inspection finds that the governors are not discharging their responsibilities adequately and this failure contributes to the finding that the school requires special measures then the local authority should include in its statement of action how it will address governance issues at the school.