Wednesday 28 September 2011

Gung Zo

So, it seems that I courted controversy after all, with my casually cheery approval of Al and co's term-time holiday.  If it helps, Dilly had already said that she felt quite guilty about it.  I encouraged her, however (so, not so helpful, loves) - yes, I do know the problems it causes teachers when there are a few pupils off every week and it's necessary for them to catch up later, but the benefit to Al and co as a family will outweigh that, I'm quite sure.

Today has been quite busy, with back-to-back meetings and no time for meals.  First, a meeting with my vice-chairman (have I ever mentioned that she's quite brilliant and I'm astonishingly lucky to have someone who is a lovely friend as well as a totally reliable back-up?), then a brief meeting with the Head before a Steering group meeting, then three-quarters of an hour at one committee meeting (I'm not on that committee, though I normally go to its meetings because I'm the supportive type, honestly I don't interfere) before it was time to go to the meeting where I am a member.  I got home, had a couple of slices of bread and Marmite and a half-glass of wine, wrote the AGM agenda, answered some phoned queries, before shooting off to another meeting with the Sage.  We picked up fish and chips on the way home and I'm well down a bottle of wine now.

Mary is brilliant and kind in how she backs me up.  She's so much more conscientious than I am.  Occasionally, it gets to be a tiny bit pernickety, how detailed her care is, but she's right actually - that I'm more inclined to wing it once in a while is something we can get away with, but I enjoy the risk and can cope with the frantic flurry when I need to catch up.  She isn't the least bit plodding, just reliable.  I love her dearly and the only thing is, when we get together we really want to chat and find it hard to keep to work matters.  She used to be chairman, and then her mother-in-law had a serious accident, and Mary looked after her for months, so I had to take over day-to-day, and that's rather how I became chairman - so we have supported each other in our time.  She, I and the Head make a good team, and he has a good team at school too.  And yes, I have got an exit strategy, I'm not planning to be doing this in five years' time.  I put a lot of work in to something, and then I let go.  I will miss it, but I will leave it and not look back.

The volunteer thing, it's remarkable, really.  It's good, that there are so many people who are still motivated to help for no intrinsic reward.  We've got a couple of vacancies on the governing body, but we intend to hang on to them - in a year's time, the middle schools will close and some good, experienced governors will be available, and we'll have some of them.  I've already secured a couple (I'm good at recruitment - well, darlings, could you imagine that they could resist an enthusiastic Z?) and I want them to know that their expertise will be valued.  Middle schools may be on the scrap heap, but good teachers and governors are not.


Tim said...

I have a bit of a feel for the education stuff, believe it or not, because Viv was very involved - first as a teacher, then as an advisory teacher, then as a head, finally as an inspector. She gave up the latter when they changed it from a support system into a control system, in about 2005; that was before the cancer took over.
Oops, not my blog! Stop burbling,Tim.

Z said...

I took over your comment box, you're more than welcome here, Tim. From support to control, well put. We have some brilliant governors, one a recently retired head, another a retired MFL advisor as well as laymen - I'm an interfering enthusiast with time on my hands, but it always amazes me, that there are so many busy people who spare time to do this work.

I hope you'll tell me about Viv one day, especially the good times.

Tim said...

Happy to do so, Z (I mean tell you more, but not in public). I'd like to do more, but how? There is no proper community here in Reading.

Dave said...

Courting controversy agian here Z. Marmite, eh?

Z said...

There's a real shortage of governors at a lot of schools, but there's a lot to learn and it's fairly time-consuming. The Local Authority guidance suggests 4 hours a month or something like that, but that's a major understatement. If you are interested, you could contact the LA and they will let schools with vacancies know, or if a school you like the look of has become an academy, you could write to the chair of governors.

It's all right, Dave, I didn't kiss any non-Marmite eaters afterwards. said...
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