Pained threshold for governors

5th November 2004 at 00:00
David Sassoon rightly points to problems for governors who will be responsible for dealing with teachers' requests for review of unsuccessful threshold applications ("Danger over the threshold", TES, October 22).

Under the previous expensive and farcical arrangements, "independent" assessors in some counties were former heads who had worked for the authority. They were unlikely to provide an unbiased review of decisions by heads they knew well.

However, the new arrangements are flawed and for the same reason. Does anyone believe that governors are even remotely likely to go against the decision of their head?

In fact the system will continue to be abused by poor heads, who will obstruct applications from staff with whom they have a poor relationship - due to union activism, for example - safe in the knowledge that they will not face any meaningful challenge.

This will make it vital for teachers to find out as much as they can about headteachers before accepting jobs in schools and equally important for prospective governors to find out all they can about headteachers before risking their reputation by upholding decisions made by dodgy heads.

Stephen Springthorpe Tregorrick St Leonards on Sea East Sussex

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