School Governor Identities Update

The school governor identities project has now been running for six months. During this time I have carried out over 50 interviews with school governors from all over the country.

The project aims to investigate the influences of various factors on school governor identity at a time of great changes to the education system in England.

The project investigates areas such as : the media influence on governors; how governors become confident in their role; what brought them into the role in the first place; what they imagine to be ‘school strategy’; how they see themselves as leaders; what governors feel about inspection and their role in it.

Some of the data will be published in a forthcoming book : Governors: Policy , politics and practices (Policy press ), I will also be writing a number of articles and blog posts over the next six months.

The survey is still running so if you ‘Picture1

haven’t had a chance to complete it you still can –

The responses so far have been fascinating , not least in the area of governor learning and development , governor web use and governor perceptions on strategy and leadership . I will be posting an update soon on these areas.

best wishes

Jacqueline Baxter – Lecturer in Public Policy and Management : The Open University Business School .

Changing focus

For those that follow this blog and my column in The Conversation I am changing my focus in terms of research.

Changes to UK public services within the last 10 years have not only led to increasing marketisation but have also introduced new challenges for public service governance. These changes are very interesting if viewed across the public sector rather than in isolation.

Education IS a public service ; when Bevan designed the welfare state it was central to his thoughts on re building post war Britain. But since then it has as a discipline, become increasingly isolated from the rest of the public services.

Working with other public services on areas such as inspection really brings to light the similar challenges that services are facing in today’s public service.

Writing with Professor Catherine Farrell from the University of Cardiff , we are looking across four services: fire; police; health and education to pinpoint the changes to governance structures over the last five years. The paper will be presented at the Policy and Politics Conference in the autumn 2015. This will be followed by a paper on inspection in the four services.

In light of this changing focus I have moved to The Open University Business School Р Рranked in the top third of business schools worldwide.

As a member of the Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise my new role leaves me well placed to pursue research into leadership and governance across the public sector. It also provides new and fruitful contacts in the area of volunteer identity – another of my research interests (see

I hope that you will continue to find this research interesting and that broadening the scope will lead to new insights and avenues for exploration .

In due course my Column on The Conversation will also be reflecting this change.

best for now РJacqueline 11874974_513560555474381_8608644936462473404_o

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