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What the governors say

"GOVERNORS take their responsibility very seriously. They are very dedicated but they do find it rather a heavy load. They give their time voluntarily and quite a lot of them are parents." Peggy Wotton is a governor at Stawley primary school, Wellington, Somerset.

"In the past two years we have had to find numeracy and literacy governors and right now we are trying to get our heads around the headteacher's pay re-view, attend committee meetings and hold down full-time jobs. We are under pressure to get the right balance so that the head is happy. If we don't get this right we will be putting even more barriers between the school and us." Daren Ellis is vice-chair of governors at Houndsfield primary school, Edmonton, north London.

"Governors' responsibilities are onerous and get greater by the day. We are at saturation point with mases of meetings to attend. It's impossible, for example, for parent and em-ployed governors to attend more than the barest of meetings. A great majority are not available to do the tasks we hope they could do and it certainly takes more than the one day a month suggested by the advert on making an effective governor." David Penwarden is a governor of St Augustine of Canterbury school and Rosehill first school, Oxfordshire.

"Governors today are becoming more like professionals who must have a greater understanding of the Government guidelines and directives. They have had to develop management skills, are conscious of their role for strategic planning, accountable to the head, the leadership team and members of staff. Governors are a special breed of people." Mervyn Bekhor is a governor at Christ's College, Barnet, north London.

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