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Book of the week: Are we there yet?

Professional Standards for Teachers and School Leaders: a key to school improvement Edited by Howard Green RoutledgeFalmer pound;35

On the surface, the national standards framework is solidly reassuring. It identifies seven discrete grades of teaching and leadership ("advanced skills teacher", "subject leader" and so on) and sets out, in a common 10-dimensional format, the expectations required of each. It is tidy and consistent: a way to help teachers improve their teaching, identify their learning needs and enhance their career prospects.

It underpins, too, initial training, professional development courses and performance management: big business, in the increasingly privatised world of public education. It is no surprise that the publisher describes it as the new framework's "definitive guide".

But Howard Green, who edits this compilation, is more cautious. "This book," he writes, "has drawn together experienced practitioners to write about the origins of the national standards, their application in specific contexts, and issues for the future."

It is not, apart from some excellent advice to young teachers and their mentors in Maureen Lee's chapter on induction, a book for teachers and headteachers; nor, until its two short, final chapters, is it a critique.

Read the full review in this week's TES Friday magazine, page 18

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