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On the board

MELANIE Raby, 40, has been a parent governor at Badsworth junior and infant school in Wakefield for two years. A village school, it draws a mixed intake of pupils from a large area. She is a full-time mother of three children aged three, four, and seven.

Why become a governor?

We came here from Jersey when my daughter was starting school. It was the best way to find out what was happening in education.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

I expected to learn lots and understand more about education and it fulfilled all those. I had understood it to be a strategic role, but we get bogged down in minutiae.

What dodon't you like?

There is information overload. I like using my employment skills to help the head. I also feel lucky and honoured to be allowed into school.

Has the job changed you?

It's made me a bit more cynical. You have high expectations of what you want to achieve, but as volunteers, it's difficult to meet them.

What is the worst change?

The Education Act 2002. It's quite terrifying. Governors could form companies and provide community services - how far is that from educating the children?

What does your family think?

My daughter loves it when I'm in school. My husband is as supportive as he can be as a full-time professional person.

Where does it fit into your life?

It takes a long time to understand policies. You could spend one whole day each week on it.

What would you make disappear if you had a magic wand?

Paperwork.

Your ideal fantasy governor?

Bob Geldof. He commands respect, has common sense and the ear of people in government. We're dealing with little citizens of the future, not a set of SATs results.

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