How dare they blame us?

30th April 2004 at 01:00
I am not surprised that there is a shortage of governors after reading "Don't be the weakest link" (TES, April 16). I have been a governor at our successful and happy secondary school for 12 years, not just rubber-stamping items, but being involved, constantly updating my knowledge by going on training evenings, and most crucially giving up my time willingly and actually looking forward to meetings even on cold Cumbrian winter evenings.

I expect that to improve their CVs on their slide up the greasy pole of political ambition, most MPs were briefly governors. Unlike them many of us do it because we want to do something useful for our communities and help our schools in a practical way. We are now told that despite doing our very best for no remuneration (unlike non-executive of NHS trusts) we are responsible for the possible failure of our otherwise successful schools.

Why didn't Nigel Gann in his meetings with Department for Education and Skills mandarins say "Hang on a minute, these are volunteers who may possibly have other things in their lives who do this job as well as other things."

How has the Government got away with this? I suspect the only thing that would have any impact would be for every governor to tear up their minutes and Ofsted handbook and tell Education Secretary Charles Clarke where he could stick his ideas.

I love my governing body too much for such action, but it doesn't stop me thinking that governors have been badly let down and that the Government has a colossal cheek.

Janet Mansfield Watch Hill Aspatria, Cumbria

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