Problem governors drive head teachers to retirement

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Feeble and inefficient governors are driving head teachers to early retirement, according to a survey published yesterday. The study, by the National Association of Head Teachers, says that more than half of heads believe their governors either cannot or will not do their job.

Others, say heads, interfere too much. They complain that some are trying to change the curriculum for political reasons, while others are storming into classrooms and telling teachers how to teach. Government reforms have given 300,000 school governors, unpaid volunteers, unprecedented powers to manage budgets, monitor the curriculum and appoint and dismiss staff.

The survey, of 150 heads in the London region, tried to discover why so many were leaving their posts early and why about 40 per cent of headships in the capital were not filled at the first attempt.

Ill-health, long hours, governors, government reforms and new inspections organised by the Office for Standards in Education were all given as reasons. The survey found that 53 per cent of heads felt their governors were not effective.