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What price governor skill?

The numerous tasks demanded of school governors beg the question of the competence of an individual holding such a position. Do parents, teachers or members of a community who have been elected, co-opted or nominated as school governors have the necessary skills to do the job these days?

The value in having governors from an industrial or "business" background with their financial or personnel management skills is readily understandable and encouraged by the Government. Of equal value but not encouraged, however, are other fundamental skills that many parents have and would like to offer but for the constraints of their employment.

Politicians often remark upon the need for greater involvement by members of the public in the very responsible lay position of school governor. Why, therefore, is there no legal provision for reasonable time off work (including housework) for school governor activities in the same way that existing legislation permits elected trades union representatives to have time off to become more proficient in delivering their services? Recent Education Acts have incorporated provisions for state schools to be virtually independent by becoming grant-maintained. How many GM schools have budget allocations for day-time governor courses, including expenses? This principle also applies to locally-managed schools.

EMRYS BATCHELOR

38 Mendip Crescent Putnoe, Bedford

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