When I was asked to write an article for GovernorSpace my immediate reactions was, yes, great, I have a lot to say about Governance from the clerking perspective but when I sat myself down to start my piece I began to question what I might write about, would it be any good, would it be worthy of a spot on GovernorSpace and actually, am I qualified to write anything about clerking? Well, having been a clerk to governors for in excess of 16 years, I probably am qualified but still I began to reflect on the importance of having the confidence to speak up in a Board meeting.
In order to perform their role effectively, the DfE Clerking Competency Framework states that the clerk must possess and build on four key competencies:
Building a rapport with the Board, particularly the Chair and school leader is essential, as is knowing and understanding the skills and abilities of those around the table. This, of course, takes time. Listening to what is said in meetings and having the confidence to ask questions around areas being discussed, particularly when resolutions or actions are being agreed, is key.
Clerks should know and be confident that asking questions in a meeting not only helps their understanding but also moves a newly appointed Clerk closer to building the rapport with their Board. Similarly, clerks should have the confidence to intervene when governors are straying from their strategic role into the realms of operational (the domain of school leaders); when governors are not acting in accordance with their Code of Conduct; or when clarity is required regarding the legal duties and responsibilities of the Board.
As you continue your clerking journey, your confidence will naturally build. The GovernorSpace Clerking Development Programme includes a personal mentor. Visit www.governorspace.co.uk for more information.
Don’t have an account? Register now to access training, peer-to-peer and mentor support, self-evaluation tools, useful resources and much more – all free of charge to you and your school!