On the board

6th June 2003 at 01:00
Peter Heyes, 66, is chair of governors at Queen Eleanor community school in Stamford, Lincolnshire. A governor for seven years and chair for six, he started his career in industry, became deputy head of a local secondary school and worked with the county team on appraisal and development planning. He is married with children and grandchildren.

Why become a governor?

I was coerced! No, I wanted to put something back into the community.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

Yes, on the whole. You can make the job what you want it to be. I enjoy going into school and attending activities.

What dodon't you like?

I have decided to revert to being an ordinary governor next autumn because of the sheer amount of information you feel you have to read when you are chair.

Has the experience changed you?

I have a deeper appreciation of what schools have to do to survive at this time. Also, I have a greater understanding of youngsters and a great respect for the teachers who have such a difficult task.

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

One of the worst is financial; we have seen a real drop of 5 per cent in our budget. This will lead to increasing numbers in the classroom and it will be the youngsters who suffer. Also, the inability to get staff in some areas, such as languages, maths and technology. On the plus side, we have applied for technology specialist status and have been included in other local initiatives.

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

In Stamford we have endowed schools and the LEA pays for 25 boys and 25 girls to attend them every year, which means that we lose 50 of our most able children. We get on extraordinarily well with those schools, but I would wish for a more level playing field.

And who or what would you make disappear?

The paperwork and the advice which comes to county and then down to us.

Schools are perfectly capable of managing their affairs.

Your ideal fantasy governor?

We have him already. Steve, our partnership governor from engineering firm AKB. He works with the children, lends expertise and brings great sense to our meetings.

Due to production difficulties Joan Sallis's column will not appear in this week's TES. Joan will return next week.

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