Best Practice

A governance skills audit

The importance of a skills audit in securing the governors that your school needs should not be underestimated. Ian Armitage advises

Before beginning its search for a new governor, a well-run school governing body will take stock of the capabilities of each of its members and review the committee as a whole, before going on to compare the existing expertise with the opportunities and challenges the school faces.

Done well, this work – often called a skills audit – helps to define, with some precision, what a successful candidate will need to deliver. For example, there might be a requirement for experience in property management, human resources or finance.

However, I have found that much of the guidance around skills audits is poor, confusing and incomplete. Moreover, the competency framework on which they are often based does not look like anything used in business. Wading through a 50-point checklist, which hardly supports decision-making, will sap the will to live out of most busy people.

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