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Notes on the 3rd Oct Governing and Governance in Education RIG Meeting


The latest meeting of the Governing and Governance in Education Research Interest Group (RIG) Meeting will took place on 3rd October 2019 at the Wesley Hotel, London. 


There were 22 attendees including academics, researchers, practitioners and consultants involved with governing schools and colleges, and school governors. The meeting included attendance by two Department for Education officials throughout the day and an additional official for part of the afternoon.

The meeting started at 11.00am with introductions and a confirmation of the agenda for the day.

The Convener reminded the RIG attendees of the importance of the observance of Chatham House conditions to enable a frank and open discussion.


The morning session focused on the Department for Education interest to review and, if necessary, to revise the current Governance Handbook for schools and academies in England. There was a brief presentation from DfE officials followed by a lengthy comment, question and answer session. DfE officials expressed their thanks for the collective contribution from the RIG and offered to attend a future meeting with an update on their work in the relation to the guidance for governing and governance of schools and academies. 

The afternoon session covered the following topics:-

  • A presentation from Prof. Chris James titled ‘Reflections on current issues in school governing in England’ which followed up an earlier study from 10 years previously;
  • An exploration of questions stimulated by the growing interest in the remuneration of governors of publicly funded educational institutions led by Colin Forrest, Chris James & Ron Hill. A paper is in production by Forrest, James and Hill addressing this topic.
  • A review of the draft proposal for a Special Edition of Management in Education – prepared by Julia Skinner, Lizana Oberholzer, Naureen Khalid and Tom Fellows. There was broad support for the draft proposal and, in particular, a request to extend the topic from academies in England to schools and academies in England.   The intention is to submit the proposal for consideration by the MiE Board at its next meeting (assumed to be November 2019). The team was thanked for its work to date.
  • An update on a research study by Michalis Constantinides, who is looking at the working experience of chief executives of multi-academy trusts in England.   

The Convener informed that the next RIG G&GE will be held on Thursday 28 November 2019.

The event concluded at 3.00pm.

Prof. Ron Hill
RIG G&GE Convener
6 October 2019


As I announced at the conclusion of the RIG, I went to see the play ‘Trojan Horse’ on Saturday 5 October 2019 at Leeds Playhouse. The play considers the events contributing to the alleged conspiracy (emerging in 2014) to introduce an Islamist ethos into several schools in Birmingham. However, academics O’Toole and Holmwood (2017) ‘described the Trojan Horse affair as a false narrative spread by a hostile British press which led to a serious miscarriage of justice against the teachers’ involved in the alleged conspiracy (words in italics quoted from Wikipedia 6 Oct 2019).

As a case study in aspects of leadership and teaching in Birmingham primary and secondary schools, together with the nature and processes of school inspection, the use of governmental authority and the influence of social media, I think this play is an essential experience for all educationalists. The play is currently on tour in England. 

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