DOREEN TOZER, 66, has been a governor for nearly 30 years at the primary school where her daughter was educated. A former school secretary and finance officer, she started out as a parent-governor and has been chairman of governors at Stuart Road primary, Plymouth, for around 11 years. She is on the executive committee of Plymouth governors' association, and sits as a governor representative on education authority committees.
What made you want to be a governor?
My daughter was at the school. I started the parent-teacher association with someone else and was elected to represent it. When my daughter left, the councillor representative asked the county to appoint me instead of him.
Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?
Oh yes. I love being involved with the children, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
What don't you like?
The added and increasing responsibilities. In some ways, it makes you remote from the teachers. We are lucky here, we have a very good relationship with them. But it takes hours and hours to do it properly. There's too much bumf.
Has the experience changed you?
It keeps you young. I'm mre tolerant of children. Older people sometimes say "in my day....". But I have a greater understanding of how children are taught.
What is the biggest, best or worse change you've seen during your time as a governor?
The small increase in people on the governing body helps. You are able to spread out the responsibilities more evenly and get a broader vision of things.
If you could wave a wand, what would you wish for the school?
We are hoping to get more money to redesign our old Victorian building.We also want a lift. Then we could take children with a disability. We have to have meetings downstairs because of me. I've been on crutches for about 10 years, and had 13 operations on my legs.
And who or what would you make disappear?
Performance league tables. They don't really tell you anything. People don't understand that there's far more to schools than the tables.
Who would be your ideal fantasy governor?
No one specific. The most important thing is that they have an interest in children and how they get on, and are able to understand what goes on in education. Everyone's got something to give.