A vision, or a waking dream?

12th November 2004 at 00:00
Last night I had the strangest dream. I was at a governors' meeting surrounded by colleagues already tired by a full day's work, going through the customary agenda. As the clerk expertly explained item 26 (Enclosure E), my eyes became burdened and I slumbered.

I dreamed that the financing, administration and resourcing of the school was done by another body, run by professionals, whose policy was controlled by elected representatives. This body had an overview of local needs and was responsible for the day-to-day running of schools, and for implementing the legislative and other procedures and policies.

In my dream, the headteacher and staff were freed to focus on educational needs and absolved of the responsibility for endless reports and financial planning. The governors sought to monitor this body, to lobby and to be advocates for the school.

In my dream, governors had no more bulging drawers nor heaps of paper round the house nor were they burdened with guilt for skimming long papers.

In my dream the body responsible for this was called the Logical Education Administration or LEA. Then I awoke as the clerk drew our attention to item 27. The same faces surrounded me, but the room was colder and the chair harder, and the clock had moved on three minutes.

Then I remembered the governor's training, for which I had a Certificate of Attendance.I recalled how I had been told of governors' power and importance, of our responsibility for the life of the school, subject of course, to central government criteria and the funding provided. We were told we were part of a dynamic process which invigorated schools and put their destiny in the hands of local people - and I wondered who was dreaming.

David Beverley The Vicarage Mirfield Road, Scunthorpe

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