Be more gong ho;Leading Article;Opinion

8th January 1999 at 00:00
The prominence again of "sirs for sirs" in the honours list is more than welcome. The 18 heads and others honoured for exceptional service in education deserve warmest congratulation. But if such awards are meant to convey encouraging messages about contributions that are publicly appreciated, the fact that ordinary classroom teachers are outnumbered in the lists by three lollipop ladies is astonishing - particularly in the middle of a recruitment crisis. There is no shortage of good candidates, as TES Friday magazine's Bouquet of the Week award shows.

Similarly, only three governors (one from an FE college) have been recognised when by definition everything these 350,000 volunteers do is beyond the call of duty and, like teachers, they outnumber heads by more than ten to one. Perhaps they lack the necessary lobbyists. Or is Labour surreptitiously writing school governors out of the script?

The news this week that many governing bodies have ignored the requirement to set performance targets for heads and deputies may increase the likelihood of school managers, rather than governors, being made responsible for the performance-related rises envisaged in the Green Paper; both governors and classroom teachers may feel considerable ambivalence about such a power-shift.

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