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Putting style into management

Anyone involved in senior management in Scottish schools will identify with the picture of day-to-day life painted in your front page story last week.

Many senior managers feel that working long hours is an indicator of the importance of their job and helps justifies the salaries they earn. The figures revealed in Neil Munro's article show that most senior managers work long hours, as do most teachers, but much of this time is spent on items demanding attention but not necessarily focusing on the delivery of a school's main targets.

For too long schools have been expected to deliver increasingly focused targets in relation to attainment etc, while relying on a group of people who spend much of their time doing many duties unrelated to management.

The old statement that as a manager you must prepare and plan lessons, teach, deal with discipline, contact and deal with parents, carry out administrative tasks and then spend time on your "real" job should have been binned long ago.

The new management structure envisaged for 2006 is recognition by local authorities that "part-time" management is not acceptable in a modern education service. The new curriculum leaders, chartered teachers and classroom mentors will experience the joys of empowerment seen in many of the other restructured public services.

James Waugh

Currie

Edinburgh

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