Governors stung by Blunkett's absence;News;News and opinion

26th November 1999 at 00:00
MINISTERS have been accused of twice snubbing governors and thereby risking their support for the Government's controversial teacher pay proposals, writes Karen Thornton.

The national governor organisations were not invited to yesterday's launch of a service for recruiting business people as governors of inner-city schools.

The Department for Education and Employment was unable to confirm whether any serving school governors would be at the city business breakfast, hosted by schools minister Estelle Morris.

Last week, Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett failed to show up at the annual general meeting of the National Governors' Council, sending a senior civil servant in his place. In 1998, the NGC was stood up by Ms Morris.

Chris Gale, the council's new chairwoman, said she and other executive officers had a good relationship with the DFEE - but grassroots members felt their contribution was not appreciated.

"What they see when they go to a conference is they have been stood up by a minister. Although ministers say governors are valued, the message isn't getting through."

Governors, 26

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