Nothing but rage to season the crisps

9th February 2001 at 00:00
THE conference on the Department for Education and Employment proposals for governors was a splendid day out, except that there was nothing for us veggies to eat but crisps and celery.

Governors were united in their condemnation of the document: it is ill-conceived, poorly written, illogical, and it demands yesno answers to questions with multiple disparate elements. There was almost unanimous fury at the decision not to send the consultations direct to schools, and most of the proposals were summarily dismissed. The DFEE representative could not have had a good day, even if she were a meat-ater.

However, the good news for ministers is that we like their earlier document defining the roles of governing bodies and headteachers. It gives us what we want - flexibility to delegate as we see fit. Why change?

Governors present, mostly chairs, even rejected their proposed pound;2,000 honorarium. We just want what we have always wanted - the entitlement to paid time off work, good clerking and administrative support, appropriate training and - as always - the abolition of the annual meeting. We told the House of Commons inquiry all this. Is anybody listening?

Joan Dalton


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