Paying governors ‘might be an advantage’, says Mayor

13:22 27 February 2013

Mayor of London Boris Johnson reads with pupils at Reach Academy Feltham. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Mayor of London Boris Johnson reads with pupils at Reach Academy Feltham. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Paying governors in some struggling schools could be an advantage, Boris Johnson said this morning on a visit to a recently-opened free school in west London.

The Mayor of London agreed with Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw there were certain circumstances in which it could be beneficial to offer governors financial incentives.

He said of the proposal: “I think there will be horses for courses. I’ve got great respect for what he [Sir Michael Wilshaw] does. I can certainly see in some cases that might be an advantage.”

The chief inspector of schools wants to address the problem of governors who are “ill-informed” and “not able to make good decisions”, in some cases by paying governors for the work they do.

Unveiling plans for the new site of a recently opened free school, Mr Johnson also said more people should be looking to set up schools themselves.

Asked about his biggest hopes by a class of Year 7s, Mr Johnson answered: “We would like to see more wonderful schools like this. We want you to spread the word for more people to set up schools like this.”

He added he would do all he could to help identify suitable sites for other free schools wanting to open in London.

Reach Academy Feltham is one of many schools in the capital set up by members of the public. The project of a group of Teach First graduates, it opened last September with Reception and Year 7 intakes.

On its new site nearby, due to open in 2015, it will teach children from all the way through from 4 to 18.

Recent Department for Education data showed London had the highest concentration of approved free school applications for 2013 of any region in England. About one third of all applications (34 out of 102) were from London.

Mr Johnson said London’s “remarkable story” when it came to education and growing population were reasons for its large number of free school applications, but encouraged other parts of the country to follow suit.

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