On the board

4th April 2003 at 01:00
Clive Dixon, 45, is chair of governors at Grantham Church high school, a voluntary aided secondary modern, and a foundation governor at St Sebastian's Church of England primary school at Gonerby in Lincolnshire. He has been a governor for four years, is married and is training for the priesthood.

What made you want to be a governor?

It was part of my training for the ministry. I wanted to know more about children and young people. I believe it is right that church schools should be at the centre of education. And I was also set up by my parish priest, the previous chair, who resigned and proposed me!

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

And more. Though I'm not sure what they were.

What dodon't you like?

I don't like the financial side. It is very frustrating that more money is put into schools for certain things but taken away with the other hand. For instance, the removal of the Standards Fund and then increases in National Insurance and pensions have had a devastating effect on schools. I like the challenge of a secondary school branded the worst in England by the News of the World three years ago, which now has an intake of 140-plus and is taking appeals (from unsuccessful applicants) for the first time in its history. Some colleagues in church even say it is miraculous to have seen such a change.

Has the experience changed you?

I have a far greater understanding of the education system. I am also a Section 23 inspector and lead collective worship in three primaries.

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

Some things seem cockeyed, raising attainment money for instance; you get it if you're failing in some way, but it is withdrawn when you succeed - a reverse incentive.

Where does governing fit into your life?

I have slightly more time than many chairmen and have age on my side. That was needed to take the secondary school from foundation to aided status in a very short time, from November 2001 until September 2002. It was quite a thing to manage it.

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

Necessary finance. A lot of senior managers' time is spent worrying about capital and running costs.

And who or what would you make disappear?

The enormous bureaucracy.

Who would be your ideal fantasy governor?

Clement Freud. For his sense of humour and level-headedness and also because of his contacts.

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