The full story

23rd January 1998 at 00:00
In the last edition of the TES in 1997 your leader commented that Action for Government Information and Training had been cold-shouldered by the National Governors' Council.

Ever since the conception of the NGC, both AGIT and the NGC worked with each other whenever their different roles permitted and talked frequently and publicly about the feasibility of forming a single organisation. In 1996, they jointly commissioned an independent management consultant to report on the practicality of uniting in some form. The report emphasised the very different natures of the two organisations and advised that they should continue as separate entities. It saw no advantage or logic in combining. Both AGIT and NGC regretfully accepted the report.

Your leader also stated that the NGC has shown remarkably little interest in practical support for the governors it purports to represent. Such a statement suggests that the TES itself has failed remarkably on three counts. First, you have not understood the role of the NGC which is, above all, to convey the voice of governors to Government, not specifically to give practical support. Second you have not looked behind the scenes to see the considerable work of the NGC in representing the voice of governors on a whole range of government working parties. And finally, you do not recognise the steady growth of the associations that constitute the NGC and their confidence in what the NGC is achieving.

The TES did not respond to our invitation to our November conference, attended by representatives of more governing body associations then ever before, and where the Secretary of State raised some new approaches to governor support and announced Pounds 5 million additional money for governor training.

At that conference we also announced our own development plans and, with the much-regretted demise of AGIT, the issue of support training must now be on our new agenda. We hope that a national representative network of governor trainers will emerge so that we can develop our ideas constructively with them. Watch this space.

Meanwhile we do not feel cold-shouldered by The TES, only surprised that you have not attempted to get the full story!

PAT PETCH

Chair, National Governors Council Crediton Devon

Governors, page 25

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