20th February 1998 at 00:00
On the Governors' page ("It's best to try to talk things through first", TES, February 6) I was angered at the remarks of Brian Carter of the National Union of Teachers, that "well-meaning amateurs" were allowed to make employment decisions about professionals and "What business would let an untrained bunch of amateurs appoint its senior staff?" Mr Carter strikes me as being ill-informed, out of touch and overly- protective in assuming that governors are incapable of, or without powers to make decisions on the full range of staffing matters.

Governors are required by the 1988 Education Act to make decisions affecting staff. In doing so, a good governing body will seek, receive and act upon advice and guidance from its LEA on matters affecting staff.

It just is not good enough to say, as your article did, that "there is some surprise that more cases do not surface". This is a patently specious argument. If there are no more cases surfacing, then it would more strongly support two other conclusions - one, that there are none to surface or, two, that people such as Mr Carter are not performing well enough on behalf of their members and bringing cases before tribunals.

It would be encouraging to have the unions offering to help governing bodies if they really want to stop their members falling foul of the few without the skills to ensure good relations, or the humility to seek help. I for one would welcome such co-operation.

PAT CONNEELY Chair of governors Hoath county primary school, Kent

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