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Tens of thousands of people joined the ranks of school governorship for the first time this year, Education Secreta...
Tens of thousands of people joined the ranks of school governorship for the first time this year, Education Secretary John Patten said today.

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.

'Decisions over staff appointments and increasing discretion over rates of pay now come under the control of the governing body. Contrary to some views many people find these duties a challenge rather than a burden.'

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.

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