Governor representatives in my Education Authority had a very long-running lobby for improving the clerking arrangements for governing bodies, beginning in 1988 as part of an Education Committee review of the clerking service. They campaigned not only for individual clerks for individual governing bodies, but also for their proper training and support. As so often happens when those fighting for a cause feel that they are not being heard through normal channels, we resorted to special measures. County Councillors attending an education meeting in January 1990 to discuss these issues, were each greeted with a copy of a poem laid on the table in front of them. Whether it was significant in bringing about the desired result we shall never know, but as the author of the work I would like to think that it was. At least it was reprinted in the next issue of the LEA's governors' magazine.
School governors' plea for a proper clerking service
We’ve said it before and we say it again:
We’re ready to learn and we’re willing to train;
We’ll read all the papers and sign on for courses;
But what is the use if we have no resources?
We’ve said it before and we’re saying it now:
We’re learning what’s what and we’re finding out how.
We’re eager to put it to work for our schools,
But to do a good job we must have the right tools.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it with flowers:
The government thinks we should delegate powers
To small sub-committees - but then if we do,
Their meetings and work will need servicing too.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it all day:
We cannot work miracles, try how we may;
We have our own jobs, and our families need us.
Must we do the admin? Will nobody heed us?
We’ve said it before and we want you to hear:
Our voluntary service is costing us dear.
We won’t go on strike, and we don’t want to pack up,
But please! don’t abuse us - do give us the back-up.
We’ve said it before and we’re saying it still:
The way is now clear and we do have the will
To play our full part and square up to the task.
Are the means to this end really too much to ask?