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Commitment is the hallmark of good governors, says Nigel Gann as he pays tribute to one and all

Neville Wood was a typical school governor - that is, not typical at all.

He spent his working life with the National Coal Board, later British Coal.

When he retired in 1989, he was chief scientist, and had opened their new national laboratory in the Midlands.

In 1990 he was appointed as governor to the largest comprehensive in his South Yorkshire town of Doncaster.

He served there as vice-chair for 14 years. He worked in personnel and financial matters, chaired meetings, appointed the head and countless staff, advised on new building projects and took a special interest in equal opportunities and in special educational needs. He spent hours working for the school he loved.

Following a serious illness, he moved into a nursing home in December. His last act as a governor was to attend a conference in Doncaster and hear a sparkling address on dyslexia by Lee Pascal, an expert in special needs.

One of the high points of his second career was when he had lunch with TES columnist Joan Sallis - he was proud to own signed copies of two of her books.

Neville died on Easter Sunday. In his background, his qualifications, his experience, he wasn't typical of the 1 per cent of the adult population of this country who are school governors. But in his commitment, his dedication and his contribution he was indeed typical of that remarkable body of people.

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