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Easy does it

WE do not need to rush at change because the system is not in crisis, Fraser Sanderson, president of the directors' association, reminded colleagues last week (page six). Yet if you read the screaming headlines often enough you could be fooled into believing we are close to meltdown. That is patently not the case, as Graham Donaldson, the new senior chief inspector, also emphasised. Essentially we do well for the majority - particularly with more than 50 per cent of leavers signing up for degree courses - but a significant minority continues to struggle with school.

This education split mirrors the wider community. Two-thirds doing relatively well, one-third not. This is not necessarily the teachers'

fault, although it can be. The prime concern of ministers is tackling the effects of disadvantage and poverty, and the new community schools initiative is one example of the unrelenting focus on changing individual circumstances through education and linked services.

There is a need to improve, reform and share the highest expectations for all. This does not spell a mad rush to radical reform. Any change must take 60,000 teachers with it and they make the difference where it matters - in the classroom.

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