The Governor Accreditation Programme A competency framework for school governors

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1 The Governor Accreditation Programme A competency framework for school governors Explanatory Booklet Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP)

2 Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) A fresh and innovative approach to governor induction and development. GAP introduces the concept of accreditation, professional development and a robust set of competencies that all governors in academies and maintained schools should aspire to if they are to fulfil the role of the 21 st century governor. Governance is now an integral part of school and academy leadership. Strong governance helps drive school improvement and weak governance holds schools back. With increased accountability for school performance and raising standards the role of the modern governor has developed far beyond that of a critical friend. It requires clear knowledge of the school and education, skills to perform the role of strategic oversight and acceptance of accountability for the outcomes for young people. For the first time, GAP provides a development pathway for governors to acquire and verify that they have acquired these competencies. GAP is a holistic programme that systematically develops and validates the competencies that are expected of school governors. School leaders and chairs of governors can be confident that new colleagues who undertake the GAP programme will become confident rounded governors with the skills and knowledge to discharge their roles well. GAP defines 20 competencies that are applicable to all school governance situations and school phases including maintained schools, boards of academy trustees and local governing bodies in multi-academy trusts. Each competency is defined at three progressively more advanced levels. Level 3 Lead Governor Level 2 Accredited Governor Level 1 New Governor Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) 2

3 The Level 1 addresses the core concepts and comptetencies of governance. It is delivered through three training modules which are usually taken in the first term of being a governor. Between modules, trainees are expected to research essential information about their school and fully participate in its governance processes. At the end of this module, trainees will have the core understanding expected of all governors about both the governance process and their school. A self-assessment review evidences that governors have achieved the knowledge required by the Level 1 standard against each of the 20 GAP competencies. Accreditation at Level 2 demonstrates all round competence as an effective governor. It focuses on exploiting the knowledge gained at Level 1 by applying the key skills of school governance. Completed self-assessments at Level 2 will show that governors are displaying the core competencies needed by governing bodies to set the strategic direction of their school, improve standards by effectively holding school leaders to account and responsibly using the resources provided to schools to develop young people. Level 3 is designed for those who will be leading governance processes. The training and selfassessment take the competencies to a higher level by considering the systems that effective governing bodies need to put in place and also to examine their impact on the young people attending the school. Level 3 governors will have a broader perspective on governance and will be able to position the school in a broader context and so be able to set realistic but achievable expectations. Typically, those participating at this level will already be senior governors, possibly chairing committees, aspiring to chair governing bodies or chairs seeking to develop their leadership. The GAP Competencies and Self-Assessments The table on the next page lists the 20 competencies in the GAP framework in three groups, one for each of the core functions of the governing body. Pages 5 and 6 illustrate the progression of the framework as it goes from Level 1 to Level 3 by presenting the self-assessment sections for competency 9 which is I know about pupil achievement. More information about the framework and associated training can be obtained from Matt Miller or Harry Ziman using the contact details on the last page. Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) 3

4 The 20 GAP Competencies Ethos and Strategic Direction Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction 1. I know my school. 2. I understand the school vision. 3. I know the major stakeholder groups of the school. 4. I understand my role as a governor and have helped develop other governors. 5. I understand the legal structure of the school and the organisation of the governing body. 6. I understand the accountability of the school and governing body to Ofsted. 7. I understand how important it is to comply with safeguarding proceedures in school. 8. I understand the school s health and safety systems so that I am confident the school is safe place to study and work. Education Performance Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils. 9. I know about pupil achievement. 10. I understand the importance of high quality teaching. 11. I understand that pupils learn in different ways at different rates. 12. I understand the importance of school improvement and why it is a continuing process. 13. I understand how important it is to use data to improve standards. 14. I understand the role of behaviour in maintaining a safe environment and promoting learning. 15. I have helped to improve school leadership. Use of Resources Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent 16. I understand the use of the Pupil Premium and other dedicated grants in school. 17. I understand the remuneration system for teachers. 18. I know how the school is spending the money and can ensure probity. 19. I know how staff are appointed. 20. I have a personal development plan to improve my effectiveness as a governor. Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) 4

5 Level 2 Self-Assessment for Competency 9 I know about pupil achievement Level 1 I know the attainment and progress of pupils in public examinations so I understand the published information about school performance. The latest pupil attainment data can be summarised as follows: The latest pupil progress data can be summarised as follows: I have asked the following questions to find out more about results and our response to them: Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) 5

6 Level 2 Self-Assessment for Competency 9 I know about pupil achievement Level 2 I know what percentage of each cohort and significant groups within each cohort made or are on track to make good progress; and I understand what average points score means and how well our pupils are doing so that I can monitor the progress of cohorts and groups in detail. How does attainment at either KS2 or KS4 compare to the national average and why? How much progress do pupils attracting free school meals and special educational needs make compared with their peers in the school and nationally? What other vulnerable groups of pupils are present in our school and what strategies are in place to any differences in progress? Looking at the trends over the past three years, what has been the impact of the school s strategies for closing any performance gaps in pupil achievement for all groups of pupils? What can the school do to further improve? Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) 6

7 Level 3 Self-Assessment for Competency 9 I know about pupil achievement Level 3 I know about prior attainment and how our pupils compared with other schools nationally so that I know what it is possible for an outstanding school in our context to achieve. How does your school compare with an outstanding school with similar prior attainment? How could the governing body and school leadership, by working together, achieve or even exceed these standards? Governor Accreditation Programme (GAP) 7

8 Harry Ziman PHS Consulting Limited Pryors Hayes Farm Willington Road Oscroft Tarvin Cheshire CH3 8NL Tel: Matt Miller Matt Miller Consultancy Limited Kingfisher Rossendale Close Enfield EN2 9JQ Tel:

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