NLGN / IDeA report calls for wider involvement of school governors in community regeneration
7 July, 2002

A new joint report from NLGN and the IDeA is calling for the wider involvement of school governors in the community planning process, outlining the positive impact of such integration upon community well-being, local democratic accountability and education standards.

Governing Education for Regeneration by Liz Allen and Dr Jane Martin illustrates, through six case studies, how school improvement and neighbourhood renewal must go arm in arm for both to be a success, suggesting that this should be the central focus for the local governance of education. The featured cases are:

  • Argyle Primary Schools, LB Camden
  • Borden Infants School and Chase Children’s Centre, Hampshire
  • Gosforth High School, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Eveline Lowe Primary School, LB Southwark
  • Stantonbury Campus, Milton Keynes
  • Unity Academy, Middlesbrough

    The Middlesbrough case quotes David McGahey, Managing Director, Education for Amey plc (who have supported the publication) and Chairman of the Trustees of Unity Academy. For companies like Amey plc involved in education service contracts, success in raising school standards is dependent on wider community developments:

    “We cannot just concentrate on getting the schools right”
    , he says.

    The report – the first in a new NLGN practitioner series entitled ‘Delivering Change’ – makes recommendations as to how central and local government should support the local governance of education to bring about school improvement as part of neighbourhood regeneration, calling for:

  • The new articles of governance to place a requirement on schools to contribute to community well-being.
  • Objectives for school improvement to be recast to include community learning.
  • National guidance on extended schools to make clear the local authority / local governance context within which schools are operating.
  • Local authorities to consider placing their governing support activities within the corporate democratic service function and re-orientate these activities towards corporate governance aims and objectives.
  • Local political structures to refocus to ensure formal and appropriate linkages between schools, local education services and the corporate authority for the purposes of regeneration.

    The launch of Governing Education for Regeneration is taking place at a national conference, ‘Education and the Community – Partnerships for Regeneration’ in central London on Monday 8 July. The keynote address will be given by David Bell, the new Chief Inspector of Schools at OFSTED and formerly Chief Executive of Bedfordshire County Council. In a foreword to the report, he writes:

    “Fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between schools and their communities is as an integral part of the modernisation of local government. This report is both thought-provoking and practical and I hope it generates new thinking”. David Bell.

    NLGN is an independent think-tank, seeking to transform public services, revitalise local political leadership and empower local communities. All media enquiries to Ian Parker – 020 7357 0116 /

    IDeA provides practical solutions to improve council’s performance, by offering tailored support packages to individual authorities and by developing innovative solutions to problems affecting the whole of local government.

    Amey has established a leadership position in the provision of quality education support services, including PFI and PPP projects, and in the development of partnerships with schools and local education authorities, colleges and universities.

    Liz Allen is an independent education policy analyst and a non-executive director of NLGN.
    Dr. Jane Martin is a principal consultant with IDeA Solutions and a school governor.

    Copies of Governing Education for Regeneration by Liz Allen and Jane Martin are available from York Publishing Services Ltd. £20.00 (£1.25 p&p) Tel: 01904 431213. Fax: 01904 430868.

    The publication is the first in a new series from NLGN entitled ‘Delivering Change’, which aim to help senior officers and elected members across all authorities learn from practical examples of change being implemented on the ground and respond positively to the modernisation agenda.