Readers' reactions

June 4, 1999

Last week in The THES... David Robertson asked how governance can be better regulated.

Ron Hill

Director of Corporate Affairs and Clerk to the Calderdale Colleges Corporation Halifax

The views expressed are his own

As clerk to the governing body of a further education college in England, I want to ask an important question - could good governance be unattainable?

The Department for Education continues to perpetuate an all-encompassing role for governors in the recently issued Modified Instruments and Articles of Government. Governance still includes watching over the performance of the college, being responsible for employing the principal and senior staff and acting as representative of interests in and outside the college.

There is a need to understand more about the governing body's contribution to the performance of colleges. The current expectations placed on the model of governance are far too high. It is not just a question of woefully inadequate training and support.

How can governors fulfil the role expected of them when they may know their college only via the principal's reports, audit reports, comments from staff and/or student governors and so on? If governance is to make a difference, it could be time to pay a small number of skilled, part-time governors who would be directly accountable for their performance.

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