Who will fight for the needy if governors go?

15th July 2011 at 01:00

The article by Emma Knights of the National Governors' Association was a salient reminder to us all of how central governors are to a school and the difference they can make by being able to call the head and staff to account ("Governors are skilled bodies, not `interfering busybodies' - and they have a moral duty to represent the community", 1 July).

The pressure on schools to factory-produce more passes in academically orientated public exams does nothing to address the problems young people face when they leave school or to produce workers for the brave new manufacturing Great Britain that the Government says it is keen to promote.

Academy schools run by trusts and private organisations will not be exempt from this pressure and, in fact, are likely to respond to it more radically - that's where the money is. Pupils who are challenging, slow to develop, or just have learning difficulties, are going to be "shown the door" very quickly.

The governors' role has always been to keep an eye on what the school is doing on behalf of parents and the community. This means that governors will have to fight much harder to keep some of those pupils who are deemed difficult in their schools.

Already, some of these private organisations running chains of academies are saying to the Government that governors are an "irrelevance" that is not needed.

Margaret Jones, Director, Information for School and College Governors.

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