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The message of the Honours List

Michael Barber, who was recently appointed as head of the Government's new standards in education unit, has recommended that teachers should use four words of praise for every one of rebuke.

David Blunkett has publicly rebuked 18 schools in "special measures" as failing to make adequate progress. Four headteachers were honoured with the OBE in the Birthday Honours list. The higher- ranking honour of CBE was awarded to Mike Tomlinson, the deputy head of the Office for Standards in Education.

Professor Barber knows that the message from one's actions is more powerful than the message that one proclaims in words. Does Mr Blunkett know this? And do these actions really contain his message to headteachers and the teaching profession?

HUGH Ritchie, 29 Thundercourt, Ware, Herts

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