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Improvement partner doubts

John Bangs' doubts over the Government's new School Improvement Partners ("Buddy or busybody?", TES, May 19) are partly shared by many local authority professionals working to raise standards.

There is a risk of some SIPs becoming quasi-inspectors, with simplistic "ticklist" approaches, unless they are properly trained. To be objective, they, like all school improvement staff, will need to be primarily accountable to the elected local authority, not schools as Mr Bangs suggests. Hard reality tells us that schools' accountability to the wider community is of growing significance and won't be reversed.

John Chowcat

General secretary, Aspect, Woolley Hall, Woolley, Wakefield

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