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Go-ahead leaders talk the talk

A little booklet in tasteful blue and green stripes has floated onto the Diary's desk. It is a handbook for new heads thoughtfully prepared by the National College for School Leadership.

Opening it, we discover "Ten Tips for Headship" and our jaw drops.

Tip 7, for instance: "Spend time on your own learning, ideally in a community with other heads. Time out for this is not stealing from the school, it's investing in it's (sic) future."

Or tip 8: "See if you can find a metaphor or symbol for what you want the school to be and use this regularly when you talk with others."

This stuff is not just banal, patronising and illiterate; it is also very bad advice. Much better to be available at all times and avoid metaphors like the plague. Try a good joke instead.

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