Training lapse;Opinion;News amp; opinion

5th November 1999 at 00:00
TWO CHEERS for the Government's response to the Select Committee report on school governors.

It was right to reject the idea that governing bodies should be able to sack what the committee called "rogue" governors. One person's troublemaker is another's fearless upholder of truth. The principle that parents and teachers should be allowed to elect their own representatives should not be overturned simply because it throws up voices that disturb the equanimity of established groups. Nor should the principle that governors answer to parents in public once a year for their stewardship be abandoned.

But just what principle is it that dictates that volunteers should not have to undergo any kind of induction training? Magistrates are required to. So are Samaritans. Who are these important potential school governors who would be put off by the suggestion they do not already know everything they need to know?

Perhaps the real principle at stake here is financial: a comprehensive requirement to train would place on the Government a requirement to provide comprehensive training. Either way, the decision speaks volumes about the sincerity of the Government's commitment to the principle of lifelong learning.

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