Annal Nayyar reports that Ofsted state Town halls should tackle poor school governors

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has challenged councils to take rapid action in schools where the governing body is underperforming.

In a speech at the Policy Exchange think-tank today, the chief inspector of schools also called for a more professional and better-trained cadre of school governors, with some being paid for their efforts.

On the role of local authorities, Wilshaw said they had a ‘vital’ part to play in driving school improvement.

He said: ‘The best local authorities use their powers effectively. Yet my annual report found that since 2007, nearly half of local authorities have not any interim executive boards in place, and 70 local authorities had not issued a single warning notice. This is unacceptable.’

Councils should use the school performance data collected and published by Ofsted to support their interventions and help them act decisively, he said. ‘This is something we will be looking at very carefully in our forthcoming programme of local authority inspections and any future inspections of academy chains.’

Wilshaw also made a plea for school governors who were equipped with professional skills. He said that, where there was a shortage of suitably qualified local volunteers, ‘radical solutions’ should be considered.

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