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Have you noticed;Governors;Briefing

Let's hear it for rogue governors! The select committee proposals for procedures to get rid of them will damage schools. Every governing body needs someone, however misguided and ill-informed, to challenge orthodoxy, demand explanations - or at least unite the rest of us against a common enemy.

I relish rogue parents, too. How else can we refute the allegations whispered in huddles at the school gate - "The children just play all day"; "Teacher days are a skive"; "Mrs Jones eats babies" - if nobody articulates them loud and clear at public meetings?

What we really need are procedures for eliminating complacent governors, willing to accept whatever platitudes the head hands them before they bustle smugly off to their next committee meeting. Timid governors must also go: staff representatives and parents who think they will prejudice their careers or their children's chances if they dare to

criticise, or even question, the headteacher.

When I first became a governor, my head defined our collective role as "asking the difficult questions". Of course we must behave responsibly, respect confidentiality, raise complaints through the proper channels and defend the school fiercely in public however much we criticise it in private. But if the emperor has no clothes, let's stand up and say so. That's our job.

Joan Dalton

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