18th October 1996 at 01:00
Joan Sallis answers your questions. Q. There are lots of things about our work as governors that seem to me wrong. These include people assuming agreement and rushing on; picking people to do things without a proper proposal; tabling long and complex papers and some people hogging all the jobs. Are we the only ones?

A. No. Every year someone gives me the opportunity to say that the first meeting of the school year is so important and most of us don't use it.

Talk to a few people in the early days of term and see if you can get some consensus on things you'd like to change. Then ask for the first item this year and the item on the corresponding agenda every year to be "working together". Spend a little time talking about good working practices. Talk about the kind of chair you want. Talk about work sharing, being a bit more formal , only tabling papers in an emergency, looking ahead and asking your head to help you do this, so that you plan the work. Review your committees and jobs. Resolve to treat new colleagues in a civilised way, as you would like to have been welcomed when you were new.

Questions for Joan Sallis should be sent to Agenda, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171 782 3200. e-mail:

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