GOOD NEWS: the Government hasn't abandoned its pledge to reduce the bureaucratic burden on schools.
Governors will have breathed a sigh of relief at the recent declaration from the Department for Education and Employment that they won't have to set up a general complaints procedures for parents for at least another year - September 2000 at the earliest.
The stay-of-hand, explained in a helpful two-page letter from the department, should give them a chance to catch up on some of the other policies they're supposed to be drawing up - little things like teacher appraisal and performance-related pay.
Sadly it's not quite so straightforward (as if anything ever is with the DFEE). Ministers are keen that this reduction in red tape doesn't mean schools can give the brush-off to stroppy parents.
"It is essential that every school should have an effective mechanism for handling parental complaints," Juliette Duah, of the DFEE's school government team, notes sternly in the letter.
Er, so that wouldn't be a general complaints procedure then?