Insolvent governor bar rethink

17th December 1999 at 00:00
BANKRUPTS could be allowed to become school governors, under proposals floated by the Department for Trade and Industry.

Secretary of State Stephen Byers, the former schools minister, said this week he was considering changing the law, to remove the stigma of failure from bankrupts.

Currently, someone who is bankrupt or disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act cannot become a school governor. Others excluded from governing include those with serious criminal records, charity trustees removed from office, and anyone on list 99, the list of people barred from working with children.

Chris Gale, chairman of the National Governors' Council, said: "If someone's business fails through no real fault of their own, and we have to accept that can happen, then yes, why shouldn't they become governors?

"However, how do we distinguish them from those who go from business to business, declaring banruptcy just the moment before arrest for fraud? Until there is a system in place which gives this information, trust - which is what we are talking about here - could be misplaced."

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