Recently Governors will have seen a new document introduced called The Competency Framework. This was issued in January 2017 by the Department for Education but issued on a fairly low-key basis. It has not really been discussed during Ofsted Inspections but it is a very important document and one which is going to be become vital to the future success of effective governance.
The Competency Framework is a series of questions for the entire Governing Board, Somebody on the Governing Board and the Chair of Governors to rate themselves on. It is quite a daunting document at first glance as there are some 6 key areas to consider with each area broken down into sub sections. For each area and sub area, Governors need to consider their knowledge of the subject and also their skills and behaviours in the area. So, is this simply the next idea by the DfE destined to get forgotten in a couple of years or is it actually a great tool for self-review? There is no doubt that it is a massive body of work for the Governing Board. Governors will all shout that we are volunteers and this is going to take time. This is correct, but just because we are volunteers does not mean we should be amateurs. Done professionally, the Competency Framework is a fantastic document which gives Governors the chance to reflect on their own knowledge and skills. It should not be a judgemental document and carried out correctly will give Governors the knowledge needed to improve to become an even more effective Governing Board.
The 6 areas are:
Actually no, the skills audit and also the 20 Key Questions (21 for Academies) are both still very useful documents to give an overview of the skills around the table and to ensure that Governors attract to right people. But the Competency Framework gives a clear insight into the knowledge and behaviours of Governors and sets a very clear outline of the training needs.
As I have stated, it is a big body of work; in total, there are around 200 separate areas to consider! The easiest way is to break it down into the 6 sections and handle each separately. This means that each section is much more manageable. The DfE have recognised that it is a big piece of work but a vitally important one and they have announced a fund to train Governors on The Framework.
Entrust are one of the providers for the training and will be offering Governing Boards training Free of Charge early in 2018 on this subject. Training is a very important aspect of governance which is monitored by Ofsted so it is vital that all Governing Boards access this FOC training. If you wish to book the training or pre-register your interest then please contact Governor Services.
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