Research Case studies
Independent Evaluation of Lloyds Banking Group’s Flagship School Governance Programme
Lloyds Banking Group’s (LBG) StandingOut (SO) Programme facilitates the placement of LBG employees as governors on school Governor Bodies in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. This is in response to:
- academisation of schools, meaning schools require Governing Bodies which have the skills set to run the school as a business;
- governor shortages in Yorkshire and Humberside;
- lower pupil attainment in Yorkshire and Humberside.
LBG commissioned the Carnegie School of Education to undertake an independent evaluation of the SO Programme over an 18 month period in order to answer the following questions:
- How does the StandingOut programme contribute to improved school performance and educational outcomes?
- What evidence is there that the interventions increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of school Governing Bodies and leadership teams?
- What evidence is there that the interventions strengthen school governance and business practices?
- How do these interventions contribute to colleagues’ career professional development?
A range of data was collected including:
- 4x30 minute interviews with 18 LBG governors spread over a 12 month period;
- 30 minute interviews with 40 key stakeholders (Chairs of governors, headteachers, school business managers, line manager) at the end of the project;
- Two surveys to the LBG regional governors’ network (n=31; 28% response rate);
- Evaluations of one-off business workshops run by LBG for schools.
A final evaluation report has now been published by LBU and is with LBG.
Our independent evaluation highlighted the impact of LBG governors on the school and, in doing so, stressed the positive aspects of the SO Programme. These included:
- increasing the confidence of school Governing Bodies and leadership teams in their decision-making processes;
- complementing pre-existing skills of Governing Bodies and in so doing providing expertise in a range of areas such as HR, finance and risk;
- strengthening school governance and business practices and in doing so indirectly impacting upon pupil outcomes.
Highlighting these positive outcomes has impacted upon business, academic and professional communities in the following ways:
- LBG are using the evaluation to ensure the continuation and development of their SO Programme in the face of restructuring and cuts;
- partner schools have sought information from the Carnegie School of Education as to how to secure the services of an LBG governor following an article in the local press;
- academics are reconsidering their stance on the business community’s contribution to school governance following our presentation at BERA. Existing academic publications on school governance present the business community’s contribution in a negative light, whilst our paper captures a different perspective and in doing so illustrates how the business sector can make a positive contribution by thinking about their participation in education setting as professional development.
During the project, we held monthly update meetings with key staff from LBG. The feedback from our data enabled them to refine their project, particularly in relation to increasing training opportunities through webinars and reconceptualising ‘e-governors’ (governors who attends meetings remotely).
In light of recent policy changes, which mean schools are now run like businesses, our independent evaluation of LBG’s StandingOut Programme captures the experiences of business sector volunteer governors for the first time and in doing so demonstrates the impact that these governors have upon school governance.Dr Tom Dobson, Principal Investigator
Our next steps are to:
- Publish the research papers outline below and disseminate findings at relevant conferences
Potentially work with LBG again to evaluate the impact of their governors once they have been in post for 3 years
Dobson, T., Rose, A., Hart, M. & Parton, G. (11.09.18) Professionalising school governing bodies: a view from the business community’s perspective. BERA, Northumbria University.
Published in Educational Management Administration & Leadership Dobson, T., Rose, A., Parton, G. and Hart, M. Boundary Crossing in School Governing Bodies: Perspectives from the Business Community.
Submitted to Management in Education Dobson, T. and Rose, A. Skilled E-governors: a solution to governor shortage in schools?
Rose, A., Dobson, T., Hart, M. & Parton, G. Evaluation of the LBG Flagship School Governance StandingOut Programme – 1st term report January 2017
Rose, A., Dobson, T., Hart, M. & Parton, G. Evaluation of the LBG Flagship School Governance StandingOut Programme - 2nd term report May 2017
Rose, A., Dobson, T., Hart, M. & Parton, G. Evaluation of the LBG Flagship School Governance StandingOut Programme – 3rd term report July 2017
Rose, A., Dobson, T., Hart, M. & Parton, G. Evaluation of the LBG Flagship School Governance StandingOut Programme – 4th term report December 2017
Rose, A., Dobson, T., Hart, M. & Parton, G. Evaluation of the LBG Flagship School Governance StandingOut Programme – Final Report January 2018
Rose, A., Dobson, T., Hart, M. & Parton, G. Evaluation of the LBG Flagship School Governance StandingOut Programme – Case Study Report January 2018
- Yorkshire Evening Post - Banking experts support trial for struggling Yorkshire schools, 25 June 2018