Letters Extra: Teachers are not Lego bricks

Professor Salisbury's Platform (June 28) recommends giving young teachers basic survival skills which would allow them to prosper whatever life throws at them.

What they apparently need is to listen to NPQH leadership gurus who can deliver the know-how for success in what Professor Salisbury calls 'an unpredictable world'. In this upbeat view of education surviving and prospering have become similar activities. And somehow, despite unpredictability, the team at Nottingham University knows just what folk need today to hit next term's distant targets.

Perhaps they haven't noticed that Lego bricks are simple mass-produced shapes with easily measured dimensions. The criteria that define a good teacher and leader may be a considerably more awkward measurement problem. An excellent degree in particular topics? Regular detentions with unruly pupils? Number of C passes at GCSE for students from disadvantaged backgrounds? Initiatives that don't create additional work for colleagues?

We could agree on 'flexibility and adaptability' but only if this pervasive management phrase doesn't connote an uncomfortable culture of educational exhaustion.

Neil Richardson, Huddersfield

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