Have you noticed?

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
When planning legislation for schools, the Department for Education and Employment always seems to have in mind a large secondary school with a non-teaching head and large senior management team plus bursar and clerical staff. Governors in those schools can afford to keep a safe distance and fulfil their strategic role. In most schools - small to medium primaries - we need to be more hands on. In deciding what to delegate to heads, we must consider:

* the experience and wishes of the head;

* the extent to which the head is supported by senior managers;

* any special skils and experience the governors can offer.

This is not just my opinion, it is a direct quote from the DFEE's guidance on the roles of governing bodies and heads. It was issued last September. So why, two months later, was it followed by consultation on school governance proposing excluding governors from many of their current roles?

I respect the DFEE's good intentions in trying to reduce governors' workload, but many heads need our support on staff appointments, budget-planning, and health and safety.

Please leave us the flexibility to decide for ourselves.

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