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Struggle for a grip on governance as academy status beckons

Richard Gold's letter, "Ways to loosen a governor's grip", offers no solution for heads when a chair of governors crosses into operational school activity. "Reasonable" is hard to define and no head really wants conflict with the chair of governors.

But what about voluntary aided (VA) schools, where the governing body is also the employer? A governor's dual role here enables him or her to get around the test of reasonableness by wearing the employer's hat instead. Governance is significant in a school's improvement, but governance regulations are weak and the Guide to the Law for School Governors is only guidance. Governance needs to be reviewed, and the reliance on reasonableness as a solution removed. Governors of a VA school should lose the advantage of employer status, which would clarify their role. Heads should be left to lead schools and governors to challenge, account and remain strategic.

Simon Gwynn, St Albans, Herts.

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