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We are recruiting new parent- governors. There is no shortage of candidates: but before they commit themselves they naturally want to know what governors do.

The trick is to provide sufficient information without frightening them off. I talk about people working to their own strengths, collective responsibility and the need to know what policies we have and where to find them.

At this point I produce with a flourish my own guide to our roles and responsibilities. I first wrote this about six years ago when I realised the depth of my own ignorance. I have revised it regularly and in November went for a full re-write.

So much has changed. Wehave new responsibilities for home-school agreements, performance management, child-protection issues and homework. The supporting documents - policies, Department for Education and Employment circulars, OFSTED guidelines and so on- used to fit into one box-file; now it takes two.

Should I also give new governors the consultation document on school governance? Incensed to find that it was not being sent out automatically I ordered 15 copies for my governors, so at their first meeting my recruits will find that everything is about to change and their numbers are to be cut back.

Just like telling newly-fledged turkeys about Christmas.

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