Beacon event was lit with enthusiasm;Letter

14th May 1999 at 01:00
IT WAS with a sense of disbelief that we read the article on beacon schools (TES, April 23). Was this the same event that 46 beacon schools attended on April 20. An event at which most of the messages were ones of enthusiasm and strong support? We are disappointed that those reading the article will be left with a misrepresentation of the excellent work of teachers and others in beacons.

The event referred to was a workshop at which the pilot group of beacons was brought together to reflect on their experience and to produce advice for the next 125 schools due to begin operation in September.

Beacon schools have developed relationships with neighbouring schools, where teachers exchange ideas, share staff development opportunities and are providing evidence of what works and why. Teachers have overcome the potential dangers of elitism through collaboration and professionalism.

The many success stories presented should be applauded. They reflect a high degree of commitment, not only of beacon staff but their colleagues in partner institutions. For all of us, it was an invigorating and uplifting session.

Carol Adams, chief education officer, Shropshire; Professor David Hargreaves, Cambridge University; Janet Major, teacher Bungay high school, Suffolk; Professor John MacBeath, University of Strathclyde

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