On the board

14th September 2001 at 01:00
Rosalind Beeson, 45, is vice-chair of governors at Ilkley grammar, West Yorkshire, an 11-18 comprehensive. A parent-governor and mother of three, she is a civil servant at the Department of Health. She's been a governor for 13 years, starting in Hertfordshire, and has been on the board of her present school for two years.

What made you want to be a governor?

One motivation was to pay back Hertfordshire education authority for my education and university fees. I was also taught moral philosophy by the inspiring Mary Warnock at Oxford and grew interested in concepts of right, wrong and responsibility which led me to educational theory. And I wanted to do something personally satisfying out of work.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

Probably. I feel strongly about standards. It annoys me that I increasingly have to correct civil servants' spelling and punctuation.

What dodon't you like?

I find it fascinating being involved with a worthwhile part of the public sector. I'm the link governor for languages, and like discussing things like how children learn. I get involved with policy-setting, interviewing, observing lessons, and act as a link between parents and staff. I don't like the way governing bodies are polarised along political lines. I also dislike being blamed for things we can't affect.

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

The best was spotting and addressing the need for literacy and numeracy.

What does your family think of your commitment?

The children are quite proud but slightly embarrassed at times. I try not to enter their lessons. My husband is behind me all the way.

Where does governing fit into your life?

With difficulty, but I enjoy it. There is a useful match with the skills needed in my job.

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

Funds for a building that allows us to provide a full curriculum And what would you scrap?

There's too much of a split between central and local government. It's easy for one to blame the other for things such as underfunding.

Who would be your fantasy governor?

Ted Wragg - he's so funny and thought-provoking.

Janet Prescott

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