Why does Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted Chief Inspector, think that the best measure of the quality of governors is their professional qualifications and how much they are paid?
There are signs of a shift in the debate about academy schools. away from arguing about the merits or otherwise of the government’s academies policy, towards a focus on seeking ways to get the best out of the options available.
The increasing independence of schools as they move to academy status is just the latest stage in the journey of school autonomy which can trace its origins back many years through foundation schools, grant maintained schools, and local management of schools.
Our survey of the views of headteachers and chairs of governors shows that schools value their increased autonomy and freedoms but recognise that, within clearly deﬁned parameters, the local authority still has a role to play.
In September, Michael Gove said: “Teachers, not politicians or bureaucrats, should run schools.” What is striking as you review many of the speeches made by the Secretary of State, is the lack of recognition of the role of the Governing Body.
Tamarind Chambers has issued its response to the Coalition Government’s Health White Paper. The report, led by Mike Cooper, focuses specifically on democratic accountability, scrutiny and governance. Whilst welcoming the general aims of the White Paper to make the NHS more patient centred and give citizens a greater say, the report questions whether this will really be achieved by these proposals.
It concludes that more needs to be done to give citizens, as distinct from patients, an effective voice and the autonomy and freedom must be tempered by transparency and effective local accountability.
The Tamarind report identifies that the White Paper:
- is insufficiently clear about the governance arrangements for the proposed GP Commissioning Consortia
- fails to establish how real local accountability will be achieved
- fails to demonstrate how the local authority/wellbeing boards will exercise its strategic control or have any real say over local NHS commissioning decisions and service provision
- fails to go far enough to join up health and social care services and actually makes NHS and other public health services less joined-up
- places an over-reliance on the market and competition which could stifle co-operation and undermine transparency and accountability
The Tamarind report strongly recommends that GP Commissioning Consortia will require more rigorous governance and clear local accountability and that the power of local authorities to scrutinise NHS decisions and services on behalf of their local community should be retained.
The report also raises concerns about the extent and speed of the changes and calls for continued dialogue and consultation as the proposals are developed and implemented.
The report and other analysis and briefing materials about the Health White Paper can be found on the Health page.
Tamarind Chambers was established by Mike Cooper and Diana Coman in 2010 from a desire to promote effectiveness and innovation in community involvement.
Tamarind offers a menu of advice, training and support on engagement, communications, consultation, scrutiny, accountability and governance, for public, private and third sector organisations.
Members of Tamarind Chambers bring together their broad experience and knowledge to deliver high quality and tailored programmes and strategies to enable individuals and organisations to meet the economic and social challenges they face.