Have you noticed?

18th February 2000 at 00:00
RECENT PRESS reports highlight a crisis in governor recruitment, with an overall shortfall of some 10 per cent. This may be because all governing bodies have been required to increase by at least 10 per cent from last September. But it also must reflect increasing disillusionment.

Last year's Commons inquiry asked governors what our problems were. They are almost too familiar to be worth rehearsing: heavy workload, no paid time off, and so on.

We were told the workload was not excessive if properly managed and paid time off was inappropriate. All we got out of the exercise was the promise of a personal welome letter from David Blunkett. Clearly this is not enough of an incentive.

We are consulted on many issues, but our views are ignored. Local management of schools is meaningless, as earmarked money is channelled into schools through the Standards Fund whilst our basic budgets shrink. The curriculum is prescribed, and league tables and the Office for Standards in Education put us permanently on the defensive. Who wants to be a governor?

Many of us stay out of loyalty to our schools, but we are unlikely successfully to recruit our successors when we have so little job satisfaction to offer them.

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