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Leaders' college under pressure

Graeme Paton's report "Headship courses 'too easy'" (TES, June 10) reflects the concerns of many tutors and assessors who work on the various programmes run by the National College for School Leadership.

Steve Munby, NCSL's chief executive, should be concerned by a contract culture within the leadership college. It puts pressure on the centres running the programmes, so the centre puts pressure on the assessors to accept people on the programme and then push them through.

The most recent eligibility panel I attended accepted candidates who should not be on a programme preparing for headship.

The overt and covert pressure on assessors to "pass" candidates is intense, and those candidates who are very occasionally failed frequently have the decision overturned through regional and national moderation. If tutors and assessors challenge this system within the centres they are simply not given any more work.

The system needs a radical review and the culture of "get them in and get them through " needs to be changed as quickly as possible.

NCSL tutorassessor Name and address withheld

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