A problem shared...

There cannot be a teacher in the land who has failed to seek advice from a friend, colleague or manager when faced with a knotty problem. And then found an opportunity to pass on that wisdom when asked. So it is little wonder that this sharing of knowledge has eventually found its way into the academic world as networking: where teachers become practitioners and pupils learners. But whatever the language it comes couched in, the benefits remain the same, better teaching and higher standards.

Now, thanks in part to the National College for School Leadership, schools across the country - and further abroad - are reaping the rewards of a structured system of networks which criss-cross every inch of the geographic and educational maps.

We look at how pupils at all levels gain not only better results, but as networks give them a louder voice, higher self-esteem and motivation (page 4). And how teenagers benefit when schools, colleges and trainers join forces to offer a wider curriculum (page18).

Discover how developments in Malta and Melbourne can impact on schools in the Midlands (page 6), and what schools in challenging circumstances can teach their more comfortable neighbours (page 8).

Or maybe you are trying to cope with the problems of too many outside agencies or too few neighbours? You may find solutions in this supplement (pages 10 or 16).

We also look at how networks can improve the lot of teachers in need of training (page 19), of managers dealing with self-evaluation (page 21), or of trainees setting out on their career (page 22).

And then there's the four-page guide to setting up your own network to tackle those issues experience says can be better overcome together (pages 11-14).

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