Governors deserve salary, says union

28th September 2007 at 01:00
Chairs of school governing bodies should be paid salaries of several thousand pounds for the increasingly complex work they do, says a headteachers' union leader.

John Dunford, the Association of School and College Leaders' general secretary, believes good chairs of governors can make a huge difference to the management of schools. But he thinks the job is becoming increasingly time consuming, particularly with schools' new wider responsibilities for children and the advent of federations.

Clerks of governing bodies are paid, he said. "I don't see any reason why chairs of governing bodies should not be rewarded as well. Why should they do this important job for nothing?" He envisaged chairs being paid an annual fee equivalent to a part-time job salary, rather than an hourly rate.

"People are not going to be able to earn a living being chairs of governors," Dr Dunford said. "But if we develop a group of semi-professional governors then we have got people with the knowledge and experience to go and help if a school finds itself in a difficult situation."

His call follows a review of school leadership for the Government by PricewaterhouseCooper. It raised the issue at the start of the year, but stopped short of recommending pay.

However, Phil Revell of the National Governors Association said it "strongly disagreed" with the idea. "The difficulty would be that you would be dividing governors into paid and unpaid," he said. "Where is the dividing line and how would you demarcate between their jobs?"

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said something needed to be done about onerous duties being placed on voluntary governors, but had reservations about paying them. "We have to be careful not to raise expectations that could lead to less money going to classrooms," he said.

The School Governor, page 25

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now