Schools, Governors and Disadvantage

Charlotte Dean, Alan Dyson, Frances Gallannaugh, Andrew Howes, Carlo Raffo

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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This report explores the challenges faced by the governing bodies of schools which serve disadvantaged areas. There are some 350,000 places on school governing bodies in England. Governors are charged with ensuring that local stakeholders have a voice in how schools are run, and in many places do so effectively. However, this study focused on areas of disadvantage, where the challenges are often severe. It found that governing bodies often lack the capacity to be effective and face confusion about the real purpose of their work. The report suggests that successive waves of school reform have taken place without real consideration of the implications for governance. It therefore proposes options for the reform of governance and argues that a national debate on this issue is needed, linked to questions about the nature of democracy in disadvantaged areas. The report will be of interest to school governors, head teachers, local and national decision makers in education, and anyone concerned with local democracy in the governance of public services.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork
PublisherJoseph Rowntree Foundation
Number of pages74
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • schools governance disadvantage social class


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