Policy Doctor: An Origin Story

PAG Staff Governance, Leadership, Schools

Policy Doctor: An Origin Story


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taff meetings at PAG are often interrupted by shared experiences of interminable and less than effective governing body/trust meetings. The root of these frustrations is the same each time – wasted time and effort that could be expended more fruitfully on focusing on teaching and learning. One of the biggest drains on time is work surrounding policy development, scrutiny and approval.

Imagine the scene (as we’re sure this doesn’t happen at your governing body meetings…). Papers are dutifully circulated seven days in advance. Collective hearts sink when the agenda shows that 30 minutes of the meeting is dedicated for ‘Policy Discussion and Approval’, followed by a list of six policies, all of which require discussion and approval at the meeting alongside the usual items relating to scrutinising the work of the school and holding leaders to account.

Fast forward seven days and a few hours. The official end of the governing body meeting passed half an hour ago and the agenda point around policy has just been reached. The chair asks “Has everyone read the policies?” A confident “Yes” from one governor; others shuffle in their seats and look at their iPads, scrolling through the first of the policies. Some seconds pass…another governor chimes in with “I’m afraid not as I had a busy week at work,” others remain silent. The chair sighs… “OK then, let’s go through them…”

“Page numbers are missing from Policy A”

“The bullets in Policy B are different on page 3 and page 5”

“Why does policy C refer to St Martin’s when we’re St Cuthbert’s?”

“Hasn’t legislation changed since we looked at Policy D last time?”

“Do we really need to look at Policy E again already?”


Another 45 minutes passes and silence descends. “OK,” says the chair, “Aside from those comments, are we happy to approve them?” Heads nod with a mixture of relief and shame.

Does the scene above sound familiar? There is a better way.

Call for the Doctor

Policy Doctor was born out of frustration and a desire to do better. With so many statutory and non-statutory policies to consider, it can be difficult to keep up to date with the review process whilst ensuring each policy is uniform and fully compliant. In discussion with you and with your agreement, Policy Doctor will take responsibility for the entire suite of polices for your organisation and structure your approach to policy work. Policy Doctor will ensure that time spent in scrutiny and discussion is efficient, productive and based on material, not cosmetic considerations, so that leaders and governors can have total confidence from a legal and compliance perspective. All policies will be tailored to your context, formatted to an agreed standard and delivered to a one- or three-year programme.

To find out more about this service, please check out our website, where for a limited time you can upload one policy for a free evaluation and review. If you are interested in discussing how you can save time and resources on unnecessary policy overload, you can also book a call with us here.  


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