Chair requires bottom

August 15, 1997

There is just one problem with the education trade's willingness to appoint committees and commissions of inquiry - who can be found to chair them? The Association of University Teachers is engaged in a bout of speculation over who it thinks the Government should appoint to chair the independent pay review committee - as recommended by review committee chairman par excellence Sir Ron Dearing. It says the chairperson should be an able, independent heavyweight.

The rumour mill has already produced Brenda (Baroness) Dean as one possibility. The baroness, general secretary of the Society of Graphic and Allied Trades from 1985 to 1991, is already chairwoman of the committee for supervision of standards of telephone information services.

One AUT official also said he had heard Roy (Lord) Jenkins could be in the frame. When Antithesis asked whether Labour party defector Lord Jenkins would fit the bill, the official replied "yes, but we want someone outstanding and genuinely independent". And who could be more independent than the chancellor of the University of Oxford?

We understand the Government is open to further offers.

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