I have been an local education authority governor for nine years now without ever working out quite what this means. Parent and teacher governors clearly have representative functions and co-optees speak for the local community or are recruited for their particular skills and expertise.
We LEA types are the only ones foisted upon the governing body without its consent. I am not an active local politician, just a rank-and-file party member nominated as governor on the flimsy grounds that anyone rash enough to marry a teacher and bear him four children must have some interest in education.
I have never felt that I have represented either the authority, which leaves me to my own devices, or my local party. Indeed as the demands on my time as a governor increased I gave up attending branch meetings as well as the playgroup committee, adult literacy tutoring and housework.
Then out of the blue last week came a conference invitation for all county governors nominated by the Labour party. Splendid - except that I left the party in a blaze of very public fury when Chris Woodhead was reappointed chief inspector. I suppose I could still turn up, like the bad fairy at Sleeping Beauty's Christening. Pass the broomstick.