Governors need a financial fillip

29th September 2000 at 01:00
I AGREE with Denise Bates (TES, September 15) that her role as an NHS trust non-executive director is more demanding than that of a school governor, but that does not necessarily mean that the governor's post should not carry some form of financial recognition.

With more and more functions being delegated to schools, the role is becoming more difficult, specialised, and time-consuming. Governing bodies which can discharge their duties with "a termly evening meeting plus focused sub-committees" are few and far between.

I have just returned from a personnel committee meeting, of which I am chair, where, among other things, I arranged three separate working parties to meet in the next six weeks. The full governing body met last week, nd a similar pattern will be repeated each half-term.

I feel that we are in danger of returning to the days when governing bodies were the domain of retired folk and middle-class women, because these were the only people who could afford the time, and I am sure nobody would want that.

Yes, a salary in excess of pound;5,000 per year may be inappropriate, but some form of remuneration just might attract potential governors who are currently unwilling, or unable, to serve.

Ms Bates says that "paying school governors would serve only to attract into governance those whose prime interest was their wallet, not their children". Surely, in the 21st century, we have come farther than that?

Pete Franklin

Address supplied

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