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Ministers' food for thought;Postscript;Letter;News and opinion

THE SECRETARY of State for Education may think it is quite acceptable to send Department for Education and Employment civil servants to National Governors' Council's conferences in place of Estelle Morris and himself - and in the sense that these replacements are well-informed about matters on which governors may seek clarification, that is an understandable, if disappointing, view.

But what infuriated me was being deprived of the opportunity to question the wisdom of some of the Government's policies and not having ministers present to make themselves accountable. It is not a civil servant's job to answer such questions.

If ministers had to refund governors' travel expenses whenever they failed to honour an NGC speaking engagement, we might see their attendance rate rising quite rapidly.

Jill Thompson

32 Postern Close, York

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