Insights into school governance

Bedales Senior, Bedales Pre-Prep, Dunannie, Bedales Prep, Dunhurst

Bedales Chairman of Governors Matthew Rice is quoted extensively in an article on independent school governance in Absolutely Education magazine.

The article considers the ways in which the function of governing bodies has changed in recent times, resulting in greater accountability and professionalism. Schools have responded to a need for improved financial management, in part the consequence of the need for demonstrable public benefit through the provision of bursaries.

Responsibility for the development of each school lies with the governing body, and the fact that governors are legally and financially liable for the school means the line between the governing body and management can become blurred.

Matthew observes that the board is there to deal with broad rather than granular issues. The education committee must be excellent, he says, and he points out the rise in importance of safeguarding in recent years, and the regular review of policies. He also emphasises the importance of gender balance, and proposes that a board in a co-educational school should ideally be 50:50.

More generally, he observes that being a governor must be “fun, to keep up levels of enthusiasm,” given that positions are both voluntary and time-consuming.

The full article can be read here, with kind permission of Absolutely Education.

Absolutely Education | Bedales governance