I'll never interrupt again - honest

27th December 2007 at 00:00
It's the time of year to make resolutions. If you're like me, you make them first thing on January 1 and forget them by the afternoon. However, if you plan to stick with your resolutions, here are some suggestions.

I resolve not to interrupt during meetings when others are speaking. Always difficult to resist if someone is making a lengthy speech that's nothing to do with the agenda item.

I resolve to read the papers before meetings. Of course, I know no governor ever gets to a meeting without having thoroughly read the papers and made extensive notes of the important points. Probably every governor with the exception of me because I must admit that sometimes I've just been so busy, etc, etc.

I resolve to get out of the headteacher's office when I visit the school. It's important that governors get into the school, not just the headteacher's office. It's almost impossible to know what's going on just by attending meetings.

I resolve to focus on the big picture and not spend endless time on detail. The problem with sticking to this resolution is the attraction of discussing the cost of the new kettle in the staffroom and whether more extensive research would have produced a better result? This is often seen as much more interesting than focusing on performance.

I resolve not to produce papers for meetings so late that they have to be passed around at the meeting. (This one is mainly for chairs and headteachers.) Discussing a budget spreadsheet that has just been put in front of you is no way to monitor what you're spending.

Finally, I resolve to take at face value all pronouncements from the Government.

Alan Wells, Chair of governors at a north-east London primary.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today