On the board

GERRY DANBY, 44, is a parent-governor at Bradshaw primary school, near Halifax, West Yorkshire. He has three children aged 14, 11 and eight, and works as a lawyer in local government. He's been a governor for eight years, four as chair.

What made you want to be a governor?

I had a stake in that my children would be attending for the next 10 years and believed I could make a difference. It helped that I specialised in education law!

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

Yes. I have witnessed the school become more outward-looking and clearly focused. I have also had a lot of fun.

What dodon't you like?

People who constantly complain. People who insist on talking about the future and how we can influence it are the ones who will make a difference. I don't like the rigidity of the curriculum. Teachers should have far greater

discretion. I support testing,

provided people don't draw

simplistic conclusions.

Has the experience changed you?

Yes, working with a great bunch of people with an amazing range of skills and knowledge, from diverse backgrounds - you don't get that in a typical workplae.

What is the biggest, best or worst change you've seen during your time as a governor?

A highlight was playing a part in the appointment of Tracy Turner, our head, and witnessing the changes that she brought. Another was seeing Bradshaw successfully through its first OFSTED inspection as chair. I am confident, however, that the best is yet to come.

What does your family think of your commitment?

Generally very supportive but that has never stopped the habitual groan: "Oh, not another bloody meeting!"

Where does governing fit into your life?

You need a lot of space to do the job properly. I shall, sadly, be standing down this year as I have increasingly felt it impossible to get the balance in my life essential to sanity.

If you could wave a wand, what would you wish for the school?

A link corridor to bring the split site buildings together as one school. Otherwise, endless energy for the staff.

And who or what would you make disappear?

Bureaucracy and silly rules that stifle good ideas at birth.

Who would be your ideal fantasy governor?

Daft idea. Everyone has something to offer.


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