Have you noticed?

21st January 2000 at 00:00
ISN'T IT good to have some fresh faces at governors' meetings this term? Most of us old hands went native years ago. We speak fluent educationese and have had what Joan Sallis describes as "the precious light of ordinariness" sadly dimmed by training courses, Department for Education and Employment circulars and bitter experience.

We are all experts now, some of us with special skills serving as chairs of finance or as literacy and numeracy governors. Our special educational needs governor stood down this year. She was appointed when the code of practice was introduced, to the traditional governors' lament of "that's all very wll, but where's the money coming from?"

Herself a parent of a special needs child, she attended courses, liaised with our SEN co-ordinator, monitored and reported back. But like the rest of us, she has a life outside school and can no longer spare the time. In the absence of an obvious candidate, I volunteered to fill the gap. I always do. The deputy head intervened.

"You know too much," she said. For a moment, I thought she was going to shoot me.

"We need an SEN governor who knows nothing."

Quite right. We should ask questions, not provide answers. An ideal role for one of our unsullied new governors.


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