Letter: Resignations put authority at risk

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The Independent Online
From Mrs Barbara Pointon

Sir: Your leading article of 11 February ("Thousands of teachers face sack") reports that governing bodies in numerous local authorities are threatening to set unbalanced budgets or resign. As a chair of governors, although I share absolutely in the anger and frustration, I beg them to think again, for their action could play straight into the Government's hands.

If a governing body sets an illegal budget, it is obliged to resign anyway. The Local Education Authority is then required, under law, to take over the management of that school. LEA personnel have been cut back so viciously in previous years that if they had to take over the running of even a modest number of schools, the system would collapse. Then the Secretary of State would have to step in, on the ground that the LEA could not deliver its services, and would have good reason to abolish the LEA and force all the schools in that authority to become grant maintained. This is certainly not what the huge majority of schools would want.

So what are we to do? The Government is refusing to listen to teachers, to councillors, even to governors. It is parents who now need to be heard.

Yours faithfully,


Thriplow, Cambridgeshire

11 February

The writer is Chair of the Governors at Thriplow School.