Although I was not informed of this until mid April, I was contacted by the Clerk to the Governors and although not being able to attend the imminent meeting at the time, I was given and indeed invited to attend the meeting after which was Wednesday 3rd July 2013.
To my astonishment when I attended the school and after a very cold reception including having the Headteacher walking past me on three separate occasions and totally ignoring me; effectively, despite being appointed and having a certificate of appointment I was told basically owing to their proposed change of Governance my services were no longer required and I was politely asked to leave, with the comment:
‘I am unable to allow you into our meeting as it would mean that we accept you as a Governor’.
Having asked them several questions owing to their actions, by the way this is The Chair of the Governing body and her deputy; they accused me of being angry and aggressive, which only meanders to the stereotype that I do face regularly when I assert authority, in this case by asking some searching questions. Incidentally, this conversation took place in the School Reception Area and not even a private office.
I did advise them that with their attitude and behaviour towards me, I could see why the School in this case was struggling and indeed needed new blood for which I was able in my opinion to offer some assistance in helping to turn the school around.
Unfortunately this fell on deaf ears.
I have complained and the City Council including Cabinet Member Brigid Jones, who in turn have assured me that they will get to the bottom of this issue and inform me.
However, this does create another issue, as many of you know for the past 15 months or so I have been encouraging people especially from the African & Caribbean Community to apply to become Local Authority School Governors for which there is a shortage and as the lack of achievement of especially from the communities young boys is quite high and we have a responsibility to play our part.
Furthermore, Operation Black Vote is currently running their Civic Leadership programme in association with Birmingham City Council.
Therefore, what has happened to me does impact upon the whole idea of Civic engagement.
I may have been rejected or told to go away, however, for the sake of the future of our Children, it is important to ensure that this never happens again to a newly appointed School Governor, no matter who they are.
There is strength in numbers and sometimes when we are failing, it is not a crime to obtain fresh input.
I recognise that no school in Birmingham following the publicity of this matter would be willing to work with me; however, a clear and positive path has to be made for those willing to take up this important civic duty of being a School Governor. Our campaign continues no matter what as the future develop of our children through education is important and we do have our role to play.
We soldier on. Together we will make change happen