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Troubled governors' council to elect executive

THE body representing the country's 370,000 governors meets tomorrow for what threatens once again to be a stormy meeting.

It has been a difficult year for the National Governors' Council which has seen three senior members quit amid internal disagreements over funding and organisation.

Disputes over the role of its chairman and strategic plan, which dominated the previous two turbulent annual meetings, remain unresolved.

Resolutions from Sheffield and the London boroughs of Hackney and Camden call once again for reform of the chairman's role, the finalising of a strategic plan, and a focus on the educational issues of concern to governors.

Five places on the NGC's 18-member executive are up for election at the meeting in London. The new executive will then elect a chair, vice-chairs, honorary secretary and treasurer. It is the first time the membership has not elected its chair, and this, too, will be debated at the meeting.

Neil Davies, from Portsmouth, elected to the executive last year, is said to be interested in becoming chair. Vice-chairs Terry Pearson and Dorothy Elliott have ruled themselves out.

Chris Gale, who stands down as chairman tomorrow, believes the foundations have been laid for the council to move on, with the appointment of its first chief executive, Jean McEntire (see profile, page 32).

But she criticised the National College for School Leadership, which is to train new and potential heads, and the Government for confusion over the role of governors. Mrs Gale believes responsibility for school governance should be transferred from the governance unit within the Department for Education and Skills to the standards and effectiveness unit to acknowledge governors' legal duty to raise standards.

And she said: "If the college is to be the influence and success it wishes to be, it would do well to devote a little more time to all those involved in school leadership, not just heads."

Governors, 32-33

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