Have you noticed?

13th April 2001 at 01:00
If the Department for Education and Employment insists on giving me a pound;2,000 honorarium as chair of governors, I shall take it. I can share it out between my fellow governors, buy the school a new computer or blow the lot on a stupendous staff and governors knees-up at Christmas. What I clearly cannot do is pop it into my bank account or whizz off to Venice for a fortnight with my long-suffering husband, much as I would like to.

Singling out the chair in this way would be divisive. It would make it difficult to delegate and destroy the spirit of teamwork that exists in all good governing bodies. In others, where he chair insists on monopolising decision- making, dominates discussions, sits on every committee, appointments board and exclusion panel, and confers with the head before governors' meetings to prejudge every issue, paying the arrogant bastard too would probably be the last straw. The governors would either lynch the chair or resign en masse.

Give us proper expenses instead. Travelling and subsistence for essentially local volunteers is nonsense. Let us claim for phone calls, childcare, loss of earnings, but not from the school budget. Come to think of it, that pound;2,000 would do nicely.

Joan Dalton


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