'We're not in anybody's pocket'

8th March 1996 at 00:00
Ian Rule answers claims of governor ineffectiveness

Just what research shows that "governing bodies of most schools are ineffective"? Research by whom? Where? Just a few of the many questions inspired by Martin Corrick's piece claiming governors are "characterised by passivity and deference".

Is this an irresponsible and unsubstantiated attack on governors or is it, perhaps, an attack on community service itself? Do I need to mention MPs and local politicians whose jobs have "no qualifying requirement in terms of knowledge and skill". The difference is that they get paid and control larger budgets.

I cannot speak for the other organisations, but the National Association of Governors and Managers is not in anybody's pocket, nor is it "dominated" by local authorities.

For the past 25 years it has functioned as an "independent national body", such as Martin Corrick calls for. We do not have a "compulsory, accredited education programme addressed precisely to the needs of governors". But we do give - and always have given - "on-going support and guidance" to members through "authoritative and independent national governors' guides to educational issues" - well known as NAGM papers. And advice is given to any governor, member or not, who calls the National Governors' Helpline.

Ian Rule is secretary of the National Association of Governors and Managers

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