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The Department for Education and Employment really wants to help governors reduce their workload, but as was so vividly demonstrated by the consultation on our role, they have no idea how to go about it.

Their latest crack-pot suggestion is that we combine the prospectus and the annual report to parents. I don't think so. They are intended for different audiences.

Our prospectus is for new parents and runs to 26 pages. It talks about the history of the school, our aims and mission statement, how we communicate with parents, policies on equal opportunities, religious education, special needs and the curriculum, admissions arrangements, health checks, extra curricular activitis - all this and more plus pen-portraits of the staff illustrated by the children. It is a reference work for parents to keep. A separate parents' handbook outlines day-to-day arrangements for the school day.

The annual report focuses on our survey of parental opinion, current finances, staff development in the past year and outstanding events in the sporting and cultural life of the school. The only common elements in the two documents are lists of governors, term dates, national test results and targets.

Combining them would greatly increase the bulk of paperwork sent to parents and vastly decrease the possibility of anyone actually reading it.

Joan Dalton

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