New governors 'swamp' board

30th January 1998 at 00:00
A failing school with just 56 pupils now has 19 governors as a result of council attempts to take control of the board.

The London borough of Camden appointed 12 new governors to the Jack Taylor school for children with learning difficulties. The school was placed under special measures after an inspection last year.

According to Jeremy Croxall, a council spokesman, the inspectors said the school was poorly managed and ineffectively governed. "As a result, the authority decided to appoint extra governors in November, and they voted for a new chair," he said.

He said the previous head, Mary Bradbury, left "by mutual agreement". She was replaced by Shane Quilter, who was now putting the school's action plan into effect. "We felt decisive action was needed to put the school back on course, and we're now confident they can get out of special measures very quickly.

"The number of governors may be a bit odd, but the key thing is to make sure the education is actually provided - the point of the additional governors is to support the governing body."

Felicity Taylor, a co-director of the Institute for School and College Governors, said swamping of the governing body with new members seemed "really over the top".

Pat Petch, of the National Governors' Council, said that there could be justifiable reasons for such a development.

"It may at first look to be ridiculous - but you have to ask who has been appointed and what they're bringing to the school."

Neil Sears

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