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On the board

Ian Knight is a governor at Ling primary school in Sandwell, Birmingham. A former teacher, he is now a registered Ofsted inspector, leading primary inspections and acting as a maths specialist on secondary inspections. A father of two teenagers aged 16 and 18, he became a parent governor 15 years ago.

What made you want to be a governor?

My older child was in reception. I was teaching and it has always been one of my aims to give something back. I also worked for a long time for the St John's Ambulance as a trainer and regional organiser.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

I'm not really sure what my expectations were, they have gone up and down and circumstances have varied. My ambition was to be a good governor.

What dodon't you like?

I like being in contact with one school over a period of time, which is very different from leading inspections. I like being able to disseminate some of the stuff learned from other good schools. I am not so keen on dealing with complaints from parents.

Has the experience changed you?

It has changed my attitudes to certain things, definitely towards governors and governance. It is different from the outside looking in. You are required to know what you are about. I hold governors in much higher esteem now.

What is the biggest, best or worst change you've seen?

The worst one has been the introduction of performance management. The duties are particularly onerous, intense and confidential in relation to the headteacher, though for schools as a whole it is not a bad change.

Where does governing fit into your life?

I'm on the curriculum committee as well as being numeracy governor, which is a reasonable commitment. But I'm not always sure I have had as much time to give as I should have done. Because of the demands of my job, I could not always attend meetings.

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

The obvious answer is more money. But that said, our new head has done a bit of wand-waving and got rid of our deficit. We have a new whiteboard and a remodelled library because we've accessed a lot of grants.

Who would be your ideal fantasy governor?


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