Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Packing, speaking, accounting and scribing

I packed glassware this morning. We're clearing fine Victorian sideboard, prior to auction. It has to be sold, as it will not fit in our retirement home. It's an even smaller house than the one in which we first lived when I was a curate - the occasion when we acquired this piece of furniture. It has accompanied us throughout my ministerial life. Letting it go is a hard wrench - so many memories are associated with it.

After lunch, the Tuesday Group gathered with me in church for a special Lent service. This year I could not manage a whole series for them as I have done this past three years, just a single one. That's the measure of how much extra there is to fit in during this period of preparation to move one. A dozen of them turned out, the most I've had for such a service. I felt honoured by their support and appreciation expressed.

Then it was off to school to meet one of the OFSTED inspectors, visiting for the first three days of this week to discuss the governors' role in financial management of the school. It was quite a perplexing encounter. I was not sure of its objective, and it seemed as if we were talking quite different languages when it came to engaging with the matter of understanding the meaning of value for money in purchasing policy. I wonder if we're being 'softened up' for the harshness of impending state cutbacks in education. Will the inspectors report exhort us governors to acquire more training in the governor finance role. i.e. get brainwashed in education authority bureau- speak, rather than insisting they learn to address the realities on the ground in the way the people on the ground have to in order to survive? I confess I am suspicious.

Education has, to my mind become all too much a political football, subject to fads and fashions, and psuedo science. Pedagogy is an art, and it can be a costly art, for that matter. Governors are there to ensure that teachers can practice their art well and happily, not for the comfort of bean counters and remote managers. They need to be accountable to teachers and children, not the other way around,

After this unsatisfactory encounter, it was a matter of rushing home to get ready for a Street Carers Representative Group meeting in County Hall, and agreeing our plans for a volunteer training programme that will take us through the rest of this year. I still take notes at these meetings and run the Street Carers' blog. A long tiring day.

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