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Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 09:01 GMT
Advice line for school governors
woman on the phone
The helpline will give governors 'the support they need'
A free helpline has been set up to support and advise school governors in England.

GovernorLine is being funded by the Department for Education at an annual cost of 160,000.

Callers will be able to consult experienced governors, as well professionally trained advisors on matters such as the law and employment.

The service will be operated by the teacher support network, the Teachers' Benevolent Fund, (TBF).

It will work alongside other services already available from local education authorities.

The launch of GovernorLine comes after government statistics showed up to 3,500 governors were needed to fill vacancies in inner city areas alone.

'Dedication'

Launching the scheme on Tuesday, the Schools Minister Jacqui Smith said the service would build on the "excellent service" already provided by other governor organisations.

"I recognise the enormous dedication of school governors and the unstinting work they do for our schools," she said.

"Their commitment in time and energy represents a huge fund of goodwill which we do not take for granted. We are taking steps to give governors greater help and support.

"We are delighted to fund GovernorLine, which will ensure that governors get the professional support they need."

From September 2001 all new governors would be entitled to a new induction programme to help them fulfil their key roles in raising standards, providing strategic direction and local accountability, she added.

GovernorLine can be contacted on freephone number 08000 722 181.

The advice line will be open from 0900 to 2200 on weekdays, excluding public holidays, and from 1100 to 1600 at weekends.

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See also:

26 Dec 00 | Education
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01 Jul 99 | UK Systems
Funding and management
12 Nov 99 | Education
Training plan for school governors
17 Nov 00 | Education
School governors face reduced powers
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