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GUIDE PUTS GOVERNORS 'ON TARGET FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT'

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Schools minister Robin Squire has announced a package of guidance and training to help school governors set targets...
Schools minister Robin Squire has announced a package of guidance and training to help school governors set targets.

School target setting is a key plank of the current education bill.

Addressing the Annual DfEE/OFSTED National Governors' Conference, Mr Squire said:

'Target setting in schools will play a key role in raising school standards. The responsibility for setting targets rests with the governors, working closely with headteachers and staff.

'We are going to help governors to take on this important work.

'So I have asked Professor Michael Barber of the London Institute, who helped write 'Governing Bodies and Effective Schools' in 1995, to prepare a companion broadsheet, of the same length and format, on 'Governing Bodies and Target Setting'.

'This new broadsheet will be published in the summer backed by a series of regional conferences funded by industry.

'Within the next few weeks we also intend to commission a comprehensive training package and video for governors.

'Both of these initiatives will draw on all the other related work currently underway, including a follow up report OFSTED is preparing to their best selling 'Setting Targets to Raise Standards'.

Mr Squire emphasised the importance of the governors' role in target setting. He said:

'The legislation currently before Parliament will require all schools from 1998 to set and publish annual performance targets in the core national curriculum subjects at the end of Key stages 1-3 and in public examinations at the end of Year 11.

'It will be the governors' responsibility to ensure that those targets are set, but they will need to work very closely with the head and staff to ensure that the targets are not only challenging but achievable.

'Legislation will place the responsibility for determining performance targets on school governors. The guidance materials we are commissioning will make it very clear that governors need to be working closely with heads and staff if real progress is going to be made in setting challenging but achievable targets.'

Mr Squire concluded:

'Clearly, target setting needs to engage the hearts and minds of everyone working in the school if it is to be truly successful.

'But target setting is only a means to an end. Improving outcomes for pupils is the main objective and we must never lose sight of that important fact.'

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