Have you noticed?

17th November 2000 at 00:00
I AM a governor of a small primary school in a leafy suburb.

Our pupils are clean, well-fed and largely well-disposed to school.

The proportion of statemented children is about the national average.

Our staff are over-worked and underpaid, but well-motivated,

cheerful and stable.

Parents are supportive, if sometimes critical friends, of the school, and the governing body is committed and knowledgeable.

We have a full complement of

governors and always have to hold elections when there are parent vacancies. Our budget is tight but manageable and our buildings are modern and pleasant.

A friend of mine is governor at an uper school 10 miles away in a

little pocket of urban deprivation in

an otherwise low-funded rural county.

The school has no parent governors. A depleted governing body means a heavy workload for the few that are left.

The school carries an immovable budget deficit and finds it difficult to recruit staff, particularly as it is just out of special measures.

The buildings are rambling and dilapidated, the number of special needs pupils is very high and my friend spends a great deal of time on pupil exclusion.

If the Government really plans to introduce allowances for governors I know where it should start.

Joan Dalton


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