Paragraphs Lost

The Guide to the Law, now withdrawn, was last published by the DfE in May 2012 and was replaced by the Governors’ Handbook  – later rebranded as the Governance Handbook. This poem was written before the introduction of the first Handbook ….


Paragraphs Lost

Of that great Guide that clarifies the Law
By which a Governing Body does its work
And holds the head and leaders to account –
Through questions, showing challenge and support –
For children’s academic pace and skills,
Sing, Clerks and Governors, from across the land
Who know the value of this reference tome!

Sing, write and tweet to those with power to change
The planned reduction of the Governors’ Guide.
Unnerved by thoughts of Handbook-lite,
I now invoke your aid to my adventurous song
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the edusphere while it pursues
The goal – to change the mind of Michael Gove (now >> Lord John Nash).

Say first, for nothing now can be assumed,
That governance must with the law comply,
And legislation states what should be done.
But how to know if rules be followed well?
“What process shall the staff election take?”
“Who’s present when the head’s PM is done?”
“Associate members – have they rights to vote?”

The Guide sets out the duties and key roles
Of governing bodies and their loyal clerks,
Committees too, and chairs. Ask next:
What made the DfE remove each online page,
Esteemed by governors so highly, that showed
The information from the current Guide?
Those paragraphs provided useful aid!

Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, it takes to search throughout
The pdf documents. Now the thoughts
Both of lost guidance and future access
Torment me …. So come, Mr Gove*, restore (>> *Lord Nash)
The online words, and keep maintained for us
The Clerks’ and Governors’ FULL Guide to the Law.

(With apologies to Milton)

Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit

Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste

Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,

Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,

In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth

Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa’s Brook that flow’d

Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,

That with no middle flight intends to soar

Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues

Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer

Before all Temples th’ upright heart and pure,

Instruct me, for Thou know’st;

Thou from the first Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread

Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss

And mad’st it pregnant: What in me is dark

Illumin, what is low raise and support;

That to the highth of this great Argument I may assert Eternal Providence,

And justifie the wayes of God to men.

Say first, for Heav’n hides nothing from thy view

Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause

Mov’d our Grand Parents in that happy State,

Favour’d of Heav’n so highly, to fall off

From thir Creator, and transgress his Will

For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?

Who first seduc’d them to that foul revolt?

Th’ infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile

Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv’d

The Mother of Mankind, what time his Pride

Had cast him out from Heav’n, with all his Host Of

Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring

To set himself in Glory above his Peers,

He trusted to have equal’d the most High,

If he oppos’d; and with ambitious aim

Against the Throne and Monarchy of God

Rais’d impious War in Heav’n and Battel proud

With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power

Hurld headlong flaming from th’ Ethereal Skie

With hideous ruine and combustion down

To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,

Who durst defie th’ Omnipotent to Arms.

Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night

To mortal men, he with his horrid crew

Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe

Confounded though immortal: But his doom

Reserv’d him to more wrath; for now the thought

Both of lost happiness and lasting pain

Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes

That witness’d huge affliction and dismay

Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:


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