Announcing figures from a survey into the success of last year's Schools Need Governors campaign, Mr Patten said: 'Last year we faced the challenge of replacing up to 150,000 school governors whose terms of office had ended.
About half decided to seek re-election which meant filling 75,000 vacancies. 'There were those that said that people would not come forward. In fact the figures we now have show a vacancy rate of just 6.9% across the country. That is a tremendous achievement.
'Governing bodies invariably carry vacancies mainly because people move house or change jobs and find that as a consequence they have to resign. Being a school governor is a fulfilling and challenging form of active citizenship...a governing body of a large secondary school can have control of well over £2 million a year.
The Schools Need Governors campaign was launched by Mr Patten on 28 April 1992. Mrs Ann Holt was appointed to act as co- co-ordinator of the campaign.
Approximately 150,000 school governors came to the end of their four year term of office last summer. About half were re- elected leaving 75,000 vacancies to be filled.