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Joan Sallis answers your questions. Like most heads, I was pleased to be able to recruit a governor with book-keeping experience. We have our budget systems well organised in the school, but I was concerned to have an outside check which would reassure the governing body that all was well.

My new governor puts in hours our accounts and drowns me in comments. The trouble is that the things she finds wrong are all matters of presentation. It really is not helpful, since she is making other governors uneasy and we really are tied to the system the LEA uses.

I can't cope with the fact that she is trying to rewrite the accounts in the way she is used to. Am I unreasonable?

No. No governor should be involved in the detail of accounts to this extent, and the benefit of having someone with a little expertise is not to take over the accounting but to help the governing body as a whole to assume overall strategic direction and feel easy with it.

I am sure you or your chair is capable of telling this woman nicely that you value her interest but that the school must work to the system that's in place.

If you can't do that, could your governor support service help you by providing an in-house training session taking the form of an "audit" of governors' working practices which would reveal this pointless reconstruction of the account? Is there any scope for getting her energies redirected, especially towards the children for whom the money exists?

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