GOLDMAN is a parent governor at Guiseley school, an 11-18 mixed comprehensive near Leeds, attended by two of her three daughters. She joined the governing body in September and has responsibility for special needs. She is consultant in rehabilitation
medicine at a teaching hospital.
What made you want to be a
Interest in my children and other children getting a good education.
Has the experience fulfilled
So far yes, but it's early days.
What do you likedon't like?
I don't like the additional commitment in the evening, as I'm very busy already. On the
positive side, it is quite interesting to see how the process works and I feel I can contribute to and influence that process.
Has the experience
What is the biggest, best or
worst change you've seen during your time as a governor?
The biggest change for the school has been the new headteacher. He has lots of different ideas and it will be interesting to see how these pan out. On a larger scale the changes in special education policy are very important. Integration is on its way, but it's not gone very fr yet.
What do your family think of your commitment?
I think they're slightly embarrassed that I'm involved, but they've not said much.
Where does governing fit into your life?
It's an additional activity which is using some of the skills from work in a context outside, such as management and interviewing. The main point for me so far has been to do with understanding how the system works and I have a fair idea about education for special needs. I work with adults and children who have various disabilities and know the problems which can be faced by children and teenagers. Also I draw on personal experiences as a mother.
If you could wave a wand, what
would you wish for the school?
More money. I am amazed at how small the education budget is. I would wish for more teaching time and more staff time. I'm quite stunned by the amount of money available to meet the different needs of diverse pupils. It's quite unfair. The health service is badly resourced but education is worse!
Who would be your ideal fantasy
Someone who has understanding, but is detached and able also to have an overview of children. Perhaps John Peel?