MORE training and support for school governors in Powys will be provided online as the budget to provide the service disappears.

The underspend of £7,000 in the education service draft budget has been offered as a cut and is one of several worth a total of £511,000 offered by the education service.

On Thursday, January 30, member of Powys County Council’s (PCC) learning and skills scrutiny committee looked through the budget proposals.

Committee vice chair, independent member and a governor at Rhayader Primary School,  Angela Davies, said: “In the report you say there is an underspend of £7,000 on governor support and training and you are approving that as a cut.

“Can you give us a guarantee that you are totally confident that our school governors across Powys have the skills and knowledge to support their schools?

“Because they are going to be absolutely essential in helping their schools manage their budget and maintain the quality of education.”

Interim chief education officer, Lynette Lovell said: “I can give you assurance that support for governors will improve.

“It’s high in our priority in light of the transformation agenda.

“Estyn identified that the governor support we have in place was not as effective as it could be.

“Our pattern has tended to be that governor training is in the evening.

“It’s tended to be that we do north, middle and south on consecutive evenings.

“Attendances vary, sometimes very few and when it’s under a certain amount, that training can be cancelled and those people can be frustrated.

“We are looking and have started online training and we are looking to produce packages.

Ms Lovell said that work was taking place with other PCC departments such  human resources and finance.

These would help with specific issue such as disciplinary matters or understand the funding formula.

She added that county councillors and designated local authority governors would be invited to development sessions so that they understand their role.

Ms Lovell explained that during the last year, PCC challenge advisers had conducted 48 tailor made training sessions at schools in amber or red categories.

After these sessions improvement had been noted.

Committee chair, Cllr Pete Roberts (Liberal Democrat – Llandrindod South), said: “I’ve heard some good words but I’ve heard them before.

“One of the first things I asked for when I became a councillor is where are the electronic measures, where can I learn and that’s nearly three years ago.

“When are we going to see those packages available, can you give us a date today?”

Ms Lovell replied: “The induction and data training is already online for new governors.

“HR training should be ready for the end of the spring term. It’s going to take time and were not going to have the whole suite of training at once.”

Some of the finance training could be available by the end of February.