Enthusiasm isn't enough for volunteer governors

7th June 1996 at 01:00
I joined the governing body of a school in 1993 as a foundation governor. I was an enthusiastic volunteer wishing to contribute to the local community. My background is in secondary education, as a head of department.

Recently, I have found myself on a redundancy appeals committee with two other enthusiastic volunteers, deciding the fate of a colleague. The school has no choice as there are insufficient funds.

What experience or qualifications do I have to act as judge and jury? It was an amicable procedure, but one where the enormity of our "responsibility" was felt by all involved, particularly as the appellant did not wish to be made redundant - hence the appeal.

If I ever found myself in the situation of the appellant, I would be devastated by the prospect that my future career was in the hands of "enthusiastic volunteers"!

Is this really what the Government is seeking in its misguided premise to make the governing bodies more responsible? If so governors will be departing in droves.

Such decisions should be managed by those who have the appropriate expertise and experience in employment law, personnel and arbitration in the field of education.

Following the completion of my unpaid "responsibility" on this committee, I shall be tendering my resignation.

C Johnson 50 Talbot St, Rugeley

Staffordshire

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