One in 10 governor places remain vacant

Education Secretary Michael Gove reads to school pupils.
Education Secretary Michael Gove reads to school pupils.
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St Helens school bosses are launching a recruitment campaign for governors to fill vacancies.

New figures from a specialist charity show that 9.6 per cent of all positions on boards across the borough - the national average is 10 per cent - now wait to be filled.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has already said he wants to reform school governance and courted controversy by claiming that governors were often “local worthies” and viewed the position as a “badge of status - not of work”.

The chief executive of School Governors One Stop Shop, Liz McSheehy, said: “We know that a full and diverse governing body is a source of enormous strength to a school.

“If people feel they have skills to offer and care about making a difference in their local community, we want to hear from them.”

The council is known to be looking at a number of initiatives for boosting recruitment, retention and increasing the variety of backgrounds from which volunteers are drawn.

These include better information for the public about what the position comprises, along with advice and guidance for new governors.

The role of a governor on a board in St Helens includes monitoring budgets, appointing senior staff including head teachers, along with making decisions on the future of the school.

No formal qualifications are necessary and anyone who is aged 18 or over and has six to eight hours per term time to spare is invited to apply.

A spokesman for St Helens Council declined to comment.