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SHA under attack

The National College for School Leadership does not find it easy to winkle heads and deputies out of school to do research - traditionally, school leaders do not like spending resources on themselves.

That reluctance may be one reason why the two headteachers' associations, though they run full programmes of courses and consultancies, do not sponsor or fund anything that could properly be called research. The National Association of HeadTeachers recently published a useful pamphlet on "Teaching as a research-informed profession". But the Secondary Heads Association gives the impression of being less interested in research issues and has attracted criticism from Professor Judy Sebba, a former Department for Education and Skills adviser now at Sussex University.

"There's an almost inverse relationship between the power of teacher organisations and interest in research," she told the American Educational Research Association conference in April. "SHA shows the least interest in using or commissioning research and yet it's the most powerful teachers'

organisation in England. Those organisations that are most interested don't carry much weight. One (the NUT) isn't even on speaking terms with the Government."

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