Annual meetings are a waste of time

3rd July 1998 at 01:00
Joan Dalton's defence of the annual parents' meeting is the sort of thing civil servants convince ministers to say.

This daft idea is supposed to parallel directors meeting annually with the shareholders.

The whole idea is entirely pointless. That is why parents do not attend.

Very few have attracted audiences even in double figures, and some schools regularly report nil attendance.

There are many ways schools effectively involve parents.

But asking them to attend a meeting to discuss an annual governors' report is not one of them.

Civil servants who dreamt up this proposal clearly have never served on a school governing body.

It is time the Government followed the advice of David Hart, the headteachers' leader. Abolish them and stop wasting everyone's time.

Some of us prefer to concentrate on raising standards, not organising meetings for no people to attend.

Graham Lane. Chair of Education Committee. London Borough of Newham

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