LOCAL school governors have set up an organisation to help them meet the ever increasing and demanding roles they are playing in the education of children in Kirklees.
The new body, The Kirklees Governors' Association, which will represent the 2,500 governors in 195 schools, has the full backing and support of Kirklees Council.
A small working party has been formed to write a constitution for the new body which will then apply to join the National Governors' Association.
That came into existence officially last February when the National Association of School Governors and the National Governors' Council merged to enable governors to speak with one voice at national level.
Now plans are being made to launch the new association early next year, probably in February, at a Saturday conference to which keynote speakers will be invited.
Members of the Kirklees Council's senior management team welcomed the setting up of the new body at the Deighton Centre in Huddersfield when Daniel Janes, chairman of Governors at Ashbrow Infant and Nursery School, Huddersfield, was elected chairman.
Geoff Alvy, chairman of Governors at Batley Business and Enterprise College and a governor at Dewsbury College, was elected Vice-Chairman.
Other officers elected: Secretary, Mrs Lesley Earnshaw (governor at Rowley Lane Nursery, Infant and Junior School, Lepton, and King James's High School, Almondbury; Assistant Secretary, Ms Pat Colling (chairman of Governors at Marsden Junior School); Public Relations Officer, Stanley Solomons (governor at Bradley Junior School).
The idea of forming the new body came from Pam Reynolds, Kirklees Council's School Improvement Officer for Governor Training.
She said for some years the local authority had recognised the important role played by governors with an extensive governor training programme.
Mr Janes said: "The new body will give governors a forum to help them tackle the many new initiatives, issues and challenges in education today.
"It is now more important than ever for governors to be kept informed and to be consulted at local and national level about the changes that are taking place.
"Governors also have far more legal and financial responsibilities than was once the case about all aspects of school life, such as the curriculum, behaviour and discipline, the food the children eat, ensuring greater parental consultation and health and safety policies."
He added: "It is important that all governing bodies become involved and we hope that each school's governing body in Kirklees will appoint a representative to attend meetings."
* The next meeting of the Kirklees Governors' Association will be held on Tuesday, January 9, at 7 pm at the Batley Business and Enterprise College when arrangements for the conference will be announced.