Parents play a “vital role” on school governing boards, the Education Secretary has said as she signalled a U-turn from her predecessor.
In March Nicky Morgan unveiled plans that removed the guarantee of a place for parents on the governing board of academy trusts.
But speaking yesterday to MPs, Justine Greening backed having parents in the role and said she thought the Government should not continue with the proposal.
She was asked by Labour’s Stephen Timms about the policy, which had attracted significant criticism in March.
Greening, who became Education Secretary in July, praised the role of parents saying they are often involved in improving schools.
She explained that she disagreed with the idea of telling academy trusts that they do not need to have parents: “Parent governors play a vital role actually.”
Success “doesn’t happen overnight”, she noted, but parents play an important role in improving schools “so I do not think we should proceed” with the plans.
The previous proposal stated that, while parents would still be able to sit on governing boards, the requirement to have parent governors would be removed for academy trusts.
The National Governors’ Association criticised the idea, with its Deputy Chief Executive saying that parents bring an “important perspective” to schools.
Former school governor Margaret Morrissey, from Parents Outloud, said schools would lose out if parents were not on governing boards.
“Parent governors act as a conduit through which to gather information from the parent community”, she said.
Governors moved to scrap a sex education DVD at a primary school in 2013, after parents complained.
Turners Hill Primary School ruled that the video was not in keeping with their ethos following concerns about sexually graphic scenes.