Do we really want to pay governors?

20th November 1998 at 00:00
STEVE Devrell's solution to the problems of volunteer governing bodies (TES, October 30), which seem in his experience to attract only the pushy, sad or megalomanical is to professionalise the job, to pay governors.

His solution is professional governance of a "cluster" of schools with lay membership "kept to a minimum". I wonder if we might consider funding this solution?

A "cluster" is not a very specific term but we might think of five to 10 schools. Let's say, for England and Wales, 3,000 clusters. We need to establish the size of each unit (say eight to 12 governors), whether they will be paid on a full-time or part-time basis (presumably dependent on cluster size) and the rate of pay for "people who have proven ability in education and administration".

So some 3,000 clusters x 10 Pounds 30,000=Pounds 0.9 billion, just under a 1 per cent rise in income tax. With such a sum to spend on education, would the decision to spend it on school governors gain widespread support? I doubt that it would.

John Adams Chair National Association of Governors and Managers 21 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham

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