On the board

1st June 2001 at 01:00
Judith Bennett, 54, is a co-opted governor and vice-chair at Chalgrove primary school in Oxfordshire. She retired from teaching English on health grounds and has been a governor for eight years. She is also the secretary of Oxfordshire Governors' Association and is an executive member of the National Governors' Council.

What made you want to be a governor?

When I left teaching it gave me the chance to remain involved in education, which had been my professional life for 24 years, and about which I still care a great deal.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

Yes. I was a teacher governor in the 1980s - before local management of schools - when governing was very different. It has been very rewarding to feel that the role I now fulfil makes a contribution to our school's life and future.

What dodon't you like?

I enjoy almost all of the tasks and responsibilities. The only things that irritate me are the responsibilities given under Fair Funding. We don't have the professional knowledge some of this demands and we never have adequate funds to deal with the repairs and maintenance.

Has theexperience changed you?

It's probably made me a stronger advocate for education and teachers.

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

The departure of Chris Woodhead. It's an event which I hope will herald change and a more positive inspection culture.

What does your family think of your commitment?

I think my husband knew I'd never be able to leave education alone and he's very supportive. Instead of losing me to marking in the evening, he loses me to meetings! He thinks I do too much but knows I'm unlikely to change.

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

Adequate funding to provide the environment and resources the pupils need and to put an end to robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And who or what would you make disappear?

I'd like an end to the constant changes. A period of consolidation and reflection would be welcome.

Who would be your ideal fantasy governor?

The author of the Government's consultation on school governing bodies, so they could have a brush with reality and discover what being a governor is really like.


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