Party line on governors should be abolished;Letter

19th March 1999 at 00:00
You report (TES, March 5) that, in appointing local authority governors, some councils are no longer limiting appointees to those with formal party-political affiliation.

Government long ago should have stopped this limitation because the duty of all governors is to their school: it is clear that there are no delegates, only representatives.

Equally there is no justification for the withdrawal of council members from governing bodies simply because party-political power has changed in a council. This logically invalid procedure has arisen because of an absence of understanding of terms of reference by councillors. Such practice by local authorities has long stopped excellent people both becoming and continuing as governors.

When a local authority governor fails to attend meetings of a governing body there is a general sanction currently applicable to all. But when an authority has failed to appoint by the first meeting of an academic year, then the Government should empower governing bodies to fill the vacancy before the following meeting.

Dr JC Gibbings

University of Liverpool

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