Month: October 2017

London Housing Crisis – supply side initiatives




The case for paying school governors

To date, UK schools have relied on the goodwill of volunteer school governors to attend governor meetings and participate in other school activities e.g. staff grievances, student disciplinaries, planning away days and link-governor school visits.

In October 2017, it was reported that schools in Kent alone have a shortage of 564 governor vacancies!   Across South East England, this could be as many as 2,000 governor vacancies or more.

Gone are the days where schools need governors to represent stakeholder groups. Instead they need governors with extensive experience and skills in various professional areas. This allows those governors to provide suitable scrutiny and challenge of school proposals, at the relevant committee meetings.

The problem is, how do you attract and retain part-time governors with the necessary background experience and skills, when all kinds of other organisations also complete to attract non-executive directors, including reimbursing their travel costs and paying a day rate for governance involvement?

Generally in life, you get what you pay for. If people give up their free time and pay their own travel costs to attend governor meetings, then the school can hardly complain about the quality of the governor contributions. Or even complain about a poor meeting attendance record, possibly making some meetings inquorate.

For private schools (funded by tuition fees), if school governors were paid a pro-rata day rate plus travel cost reimbursement, either the school fees would need to cover this cost, or it would be raised through fundraising and lettings activity. For state-funded schools, it’s unlikely that the government will prioritise funding governor fees over core education, so such fees and disbursements would need to be funded from other school sources including; after hours school lettings and annual fundraising events.

Two final points are (1) that introducing a fee and disbursement regime would need to apply to existing and newly recruited governors, in the interests of fairness. And (2) that once some schools start to pay governors fees and disbursements, other schools would need to quickly match these rates, or risk losing governor applicants (and existing governors) to those schools that do pay.  Food for thought?

Wordsmithing in cyberspace

Hop-off, hip-out, hip-op, hip-in, hop-on, hip-hop!


Pub-walking, tipsy-talking, camaraderie-chalking!


Day-grey, sun-ray, clay-way, may-stay, walkers-away, ok-ole!


Toff with cough makes off in drop-top driven by flop-mop.


Park life with the heart life,

Watch charmed life with the chilled life,

And see success mugged by half life.

As haunted life fights with fake life and low life,

So new life fights for this life and right life.




Life insights

Take the windfalls, dodge the pitfalls and don’t chase the waterfalls!

Virtually everyone fails at school. In the sense of failing to see the potential in fellow students and treating them accordingly.

The watch we wear, counts out time for things to happen to us. Our hearts count out time for us to act on the World.

Once upon a time, we used to colonise new lands. Now the Internet of Things colonises our everyday lives.

We see ourselves qualitatively. The Internet of Things sees us quantitatively.

Wouldn’t it be great if each year, they reserved lots of time in UN meetings, to look at which countries of the world that international charities are having to put so much effort into helping. Natural disasters aside, what scrutiny is falling on those countries’ leaders to eliminate corruption, show true leadership and solve the problems their citizens need solving?