On the board

2nd March 2001 at 00:00
Malcolm Wright, 63, is a retired English teacher who now chairs the governors at the 400-pupil Rush Common primary in Abingdon. A governor for 14 years, he started as a parent-governor and is now appointed by the education authority.

What made you want to be a governor?

Oxfordshire has always had a policy of including governors from different phases on governing bodies. I volunteered.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

Expectations have changed enormously. Having been a parent-governor at my daughter's village school, there was a vast difference in coming to a large body with people from all walks of life.

What dodon't you like?

I still like the very close contact with the school. Close working between the head and chair is vital. I am also allowed to run a drama club and enjoy that immensely. I dislike the extra bureaucracy. I object to performance management. I don't like the annual report and governors' meeting, which are attended by hardly anyone. And the so-called consultation with governors is gettin most people hot under the collar.

What is the biggest, best or worst change you've seen as a governor?

Responsibility for cash. This is a mixed blessing. We have had to make a number of cuts, with the possibility of having to dismiss people. But luckily people left instead.

What does your family think of your commitment?

My daughters think it is just one of the funny things Dad does. My wife, who is a teacher, has been totally supportive.

If you could wave a wand, what would you wish for the school?

We still don't have every child in permanent buildings and it would be nice to complete that process. There is also the current problem of a worthwhile supply of teachers.

And who or what would you make disappear?

I would like not to have the basic problems of buildings foisted on us. Most of all, I would like consolidation instead of constant change.

Who would be your ideal governor?

A mandarin from the Department for Education and Employment, to bring such people down from cloud cuckoo land.


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