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Practical guidance for school governors

A staggering two-thirds of the exclusions from primary schools are children in the care of local authorities, according to government officials. Three quarters of children in care leave school with no qualifications compared with 6 per cent of all children. While 68 per cent of all school-leavers go on to further education, only 12 per cent of children in care do so.

Governors should play a leading role in meeting the educational needs of these children, says a new publication from the Who Cares? Trust, the charity for young people in care. Schools, education authorities and social services departments are failing these children by not working together to guard their interests. It suggests how governors should be monitoring their progress and pastoral care; ensuring all children get equal access to support, examinations and extra-curricular activities; tackling discrimination against them and establishing links between schools and carers.

The education of children who are looked after by local authorities: a guide for school governors price Pounds 5 from Who Cares? Trust, Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London EC1V 2NP.

The Funding Agency for Schools's Value for Money unit has issued three practical guides for governors in grant-maintained schools. Estate Management and Managing Maternity are described as "good practice guides" while Cost Comparisons for Grant Maintained Schools parallels the kind of benchmarking information many local authorities are now providing to their locally managed schools. Next year the series will include surveys on providing sixth forms, insurance and management information systems. The topics chosen are those with which GM schools said they needed most help.

Available free from Value for Money Unit, FAS, Albion Wharf, 25 Skeldergate, York, YO1 2XL (Tel 01904 661662).

The Trigger Pack for New Governors, free from the National Governors Council, explains the legal basis of governing bodies; how their meetings work; where their money comes from and what they must do with it; what their duties are for staffing; what every school must teach; how governors are held to account; and where they can get support. The NGC has distributed 17,000 copies already thanks to corporate sponsorship and support from the Department for Education. For your copy, ring the NGC on 01363 774377.

The new Guidance on Good Governance thrashed out between heads and governors associations not only provides advice on what governors should and should not do but what heads must to to support them. Obtainable free from DFEE publications Centre, PO Box 6927, London E3 3NZ (Tel 0171 510 0150).

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