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! http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/kent-faces-500-governor-shortfall-133610/ 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?
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?
Trump to Kim:
Let’s just make this a flash in the pan, not a flash in the sky.
Trump to the media:
Fake news – it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
This drama about statues is a hiding in plain sight!
I had a word to my Whitehouse maintenance crew. All my doors are revolving doors now.
When it comes to meetings with heads of state, I keep trusted advisers close and my junior family closer.
Trump to women:
Comb over and see me sometime!
Trump supporters: big em up and fake em up,
Trump press: write em up and send em up,
Post Trump campaigners: label em up and wrap em up!
Brexit is a nice distraction from the real UK politicial reform needed – replacing first past the post with proportional representation. Even with a Brexit result that is broadly acceptable to all parties, the real issue is still unfinished business.
Qu: should someone start a single-issue political party to simply campaign for proportional representation, every time there is a general election?
If the pace of technological advancement is speeding up, the pace of human consensus-building cannot afford to slow down.
At some point, AI decision-making will have to intervene. AI concerned with countering the ‘natural’ tendencies towards wealth concentration, human corruption and human greed (greedy because we can be).
Will religion, which used to counter these things, cope with an AI world?
Is freedom now a zero-sum game?
In the distant past, there were new lands to explore and colonise. Phase one – human freedom was on the rise.
Then came space constraints, leading to wars over resources, nationhood, human conquest and slavery. Some problems like global warming, wealth distribution inequality and global pollution grew to become almost unsolvable. Phase two – overall human freedom grew, but much was offset.
Now, as the Internet of Things grows in prominence, will its freedom to operate, come at the expense of human freedom per se (Phase three)?
If we continue to obsess about Phase two shortcomings, then by the time we collectively think about Phase three, Phase four will be upon us…
The evolution of political representation:
- Working people gain their own representation.
- Women gain their own representation.
- Children gain their own representation.
- Gay people gain their own representation.
- Trans-gender people gain their own representation.
- Cyborg people gain their own representation.
- AI systems gain their own representation.
21st Century Champagne socialists favour a world in which everyone has equal access to the resources they require in order to flourish, rather than one of equal distribution.
Meanwhile, 21st Century conservatives (with a small c) favour a world in which everyone has equal opportunity to build the resources they require.
What’s the difference? Incentive. Building resources in an efficient way requires it. Having resources to share, skips over the incentive problem of creating them in the first place.
What’s the problem with both views? One problem is resource sustainability. In a World that wasn’t over-populated, Adam Smith and Karl Marx could conveniently ignore the environmental impacts of their theories.
Then there’s the policy confusion problem (too many targets). Having equal access to all of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is arguably a redundant problem, if too many people are grasping just for the first need (basic food and shelter) and the nation’s too poor at governance to provide them all with that first need, let alone the others (high quality healthcare, crime prevention, free access to museums, foreign aid etc). Does that mean 21st Century socialists should concentrate on the basics first, or continue concentrating on securing equal access at all Maslow levels? Meanwhile, building resources requires skill, energy and materials. If the government policies aren’t smart or cohesive enough to encourage people build just the first of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that’s a problem also.
What to do? If good government requires the governors to do the greatest good for the greatest number, use the Maslow model as a foundation for your policy priorities and skip the vanity projects!