A NEW education body held its first conference.
Kirklees Governors Association, which represents 2,500 governors of 195 schools across the district, met at the Deighton Centre to discuss schooling issues.
Saturday's conference was addressed by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education.
He praised the audience, saying: "There are schools with great head teachers and supportive governors."
The Labour MP went on to discuss the controversial subject of academy schools.
Kirklees Council's Conservative cabinet wants to set up two of the privately-run schools in Huddersfield and Batley.
Mr Sheerman said: "I have to confess that I started off with deep reservations about academies, but now I believe they have an important role to play, particularly in areas of the greatest deprivation.
"The sponsor doesn't have to be a business person who wants to run the school in their own image - it could be a charity."
Some 120 governors attended the conference, which was opened by Kirklees Mayor Clr Donald Firth.
They heard Margaret Parker, head of the Building Schools for the Future programme in Kirklees, discuss the potential £400m of investment.
She said: "This is a once- in-a-generation opportunity to transform secondary education, to create world-class, 21st century schools which will inspire learning for decades to come.
"But we also need to invest in our primary schools and we estimate that starting in 2009 we will be allocated £5m a year for 15 years for that purpose."