'A salary would change our relationship with schools'

13th March 2009 at 00:00

Anyone who becomes a governor needs the support of their employer because being a governor is a big commitment.

Every term, I attend one full governors' meeting, two committees and a social event. In addition, there will be an exclusion hearing and - regrettably - a staff disciplinary matter to attend to.

I also carry out an informal visit to meet teachers and discuss an area of responsibility, which in my case is special needs and child protection. In the average term, this constitutes one visit a fortnight.

If the National Governors' Association wants us to have compulsory training on top of that, it's easy to see why the idea of paying governors is being raised.

But like the majority, I would not want the money because it would alter my relationship with the school. I do the job because I was asked, because I know a lot about education and because I want to serve.

I would concede on receiving travel expenses, although I baulk at the administrative burden this would impose on schools. I could also accept the argument for some sort of salary to be paid to chairs of governors because the good ones are in school two or three times a week.

But my worry would be the potential for corruption paying any of us would raise.

Neil Levis, chief sub-editor, 'The TES' and governor of St Thomas More RC School in Haringey, north London.

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