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Principles allowed to aspiring heads

YOU quoted Professor Gerald Grace (TES, October 27) claiming that the national professional qualification for headship teaches aspiring heads to see education as a "commodity" to be "packaged, marketed and delivered", thereby lacking in engagement with spiritual, moral and ethical issues.

This will come as a surprise to those of us involved in NPQH as tutors and aspiring heads, since the programme's starting point is to help heads develop for themselves and their school communities a set of values, beliefs and attitudes. These will vary from school to school as they are an expression of the uniqueness of its individuals and community.

The next stage is what NPQH calls "viion into practice" in which the head leads the school community into translating these spiritual values into practical reality in the everyday delivery of a quality curriculum.

This process does nothing to diminish the autonomy of heads, save to encourage them to develop a shared set of values with their school communities.

Far from avoiding the spiritual, moral and ethical, this process involves all aspiring heads exploring and clarifying their beliefs, understanding their school's community context, and working out how these are to be expressed in their principled leadership.

Dr Dominic Tye

NPQH tutor

9 Sea View Drive

Hest Bank, Lancaster

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