Titled, "Don't try to control everything", it includes the observation: "Accepting the idea of target-setting is one thing; setting the right targets is another . . . eg the target for 50 per cent of pupils to achieve A-C grades in GCSE gives schools every incentive to concentrate on the set of middling ability . . . but much less reason to bother with those at the lower levels of attainment.
"The target becomes a measure not of school performance but of the head's ability to direct resources ruthlessly to a particular group . . . It is a characteristic of management by target that more and more measures have to be developed to correct the perverse incentives created by earlier ones."
Or as Michael Fullan famously put it: "Control at the top, as many reform minded leaders have found, is an illusion. No one can control complex organisations from the top . . . Wrong solutions to complex problems nearly always make things worse (worse than if nothing had been done at all)."
Colin Weatherley Quality in Learning Consultancy, Gullane, East Lothian