Somewhere between greed, self importance and selfishness, I now find individual school governors, who are, one must remind oneselves, untrained amateurs, dabbling in the world of education and of business. well I find them, putting up their hands and voting away forever the rights of all the children in their care to a public education.
So shame: shame on the governors of Garforth, shame on the governors of South Leeds, shame on the governors of Morley, shame on the governors of John Smeaton, of Primrose and of Intake. And, it seems, of Horsforth.
They have all given away the public buildings and the public land that once belonged to the rate-payers and the people of Leeds; given them away to private companies; given them away to people for whom profit is the motive.
Amateurs: these governors who think a school can be judged by the abstraction of results and not by the care they show to the little people. Amateurs: governors who don't really have the time to put in the real amount of time needed. Amateurs: not people trained in education, nor experienced in standing up for themselves in academic debates. Amateurs: school governors are not paid; and they are not [compulsorily] trained.
On a personal note, I myself have been a school governor since 1995, this at three schools, three where I taught, two where I was a parent. I have been on various governor training sessions [the most useful of which was the latest risk assessment one].
But I am a high school teacher. As a primary school governor, I did not have any time to do more than acknowledge the superior knowledge of the primary practioners [and hats off to them, teaching all those different subject areas]. When I did not really understand, I would trust their superior knowledge and understanding and would either abstain or vote with them.
Furthermore I did not ask to be a governor. I was waylaid outside both my children's schools, and agreed to stand, thinking it would something that I would know something about. And, in neither case - primary or secondary was there need for a vote, not the first term, nor the flippin' sixth - and I am still there.
What I am saying here is that school governors have more power than knowledge and the way is open for corrupt decisions, and, in my opinion, that is every conversion to academy status. And oh, sadness, when the true financial implications hit home. More money gained in conversion. Oh and more money needed later.