Devon Association of Governance has three stated aims:
- to provide a collective voice for governors;
- to share and consult on issues of common concern and offer guidance as appropriate;
- to identify and distribute best practice.
Devon already has a variety of categories of schools and therefore an array of Governing Board composition and styles, and DAG hopes that it has served every Governing Board equitably and inclusively throughout its existence.
DAG is an apolitical organisation and takes no particular position in this matter, though it does endorse the LA’s intention to “support schools in the move to independence but will equally ensure a first class service for those schools that wish to be part of the local authority”, noting that any undertaking must be in the best interest of our children.
It is for individual boards to decide whether to seek academy status, but DAG hopes that if a school becomes an academy, the board will remain engaged with DAG at all times.
Meanwhile the National Governance Association has published a list of considerations to inform the decision-making progress and they are:
- What difference would converting make to children in the classroom and their opportunities?
- What freedoms would the school want to use and how, and are we sure that this cannot be done as a maintained school?
- What additional responsibilities would the governing board take on?
- What local authority services would the school lose and how would the school commission replacements?
- What additional potential liabilities would the governing board have if they took on academy status?
- What would the Trust Board look like?
- How would the governing board be made up?
- What are the financial implications of academy status, including the approximate costs of the additional services the governing board would have to provide for the school?
- Does the school currently have the capacity and capabilities within the staff group to commission and manage services effectively (for example, the DfE is recommending that staff should include a qualified accountant), and if not, how is this to be rectified and what would be the cost?
- What other school or schools would we support and in what way?
- What were the results of the consultations carried out with the key stakeholders? (Or if this is the first time the governing board has met to discuss the issue: who are we consulting and how?)
DAG will continue to update the DAG website with appropriate information as it is received.