Matters arising

8th March 1996 at 00:00
I read with incredulity that the Teachers' Review Body is recommending that teacher governors should not be members of committees which determine the pay of heads and deputies (TES, February 16).

As a teacher governor, my experience is that it is often difficult to convince fellow governors - and teachers - that you are an independent, acting as a sounding board for the views of other members of staff. On some governing bodies, teachers feel constrained to voice opinions contrary to those of the head and deputies who, it must be remembered, are not elected members.

This particular recommendation, if accepted, will undermine the effectiveness and status of teacher governors and will promote a two-tier governing body.

If the powers of elected teacher governors are to be limited, what is the point of them offering their particular expertise to a body which sees them as "second class" representatives? Is it not important that the governing body should receive information and opinions from both sides of the school organisation on the responsibilities and effectiveness of management?

I would not be prepared to continue in a role which would simply entail acting the part of an elected representative. I see the suggestion as leading to an even greater division between management and staff, and a further erosion of what used to be an effective collegiate approach to education.

Jeff Smith is a teacher governor in Lincolnshire

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