Beware who you use as a consultant

20th October 2006 at 01:00
My fleeting reference to formative assessment et al has generated a degree of angst at the HQ of iTelligent Classrooms Ltd.

I am berated for exhibiting that quality much admired and encouraged in young students, namely, the questioning of perceived wisdom. In doing so, I find that my own efforts to redress the failings of the past are, apparently, of no consequence.

I have, it would seem, not "listened and heard" the message. Or the content of the many course evaluation returns encountered by myself and my colleagues are at total variance with those in the hands of Eric Young?

Never before has there been such a need for teachers to question their circumstances. I have watched as headteachers, education officers and so on jumped ship to join "consultancies" and private providers, taking with them their presumed expertise to sell to the classroom teacher.

I have watched as schools scrabble about to fill continuing professional development slots, using the same "consultancies". A godsend, some might think, but others question the morality of former public employees using their network of contacts to sell products of dubious quality to a captive customer base.

It is a sign of the times that the warning, long-established in the mercantile sector, is now to be found in education. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, is now part of the educational lexicon.

Hugh Humphries Tinto Road Glasgow

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