Books for Managers

10th November 1995 at 00:00
CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT A HANDBOOK OF STAFF DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES by Mel Ainscow, David Hopkins,Geoff Southworth and Mel West David Fulton Publishers. Pounds 19.99

Designed to help schools with their own improvement projects, this 150-page ringbound handbook contains photocopiable handout sheets and other materials to support staff development workshops, using insights gained through the University of Cambridge Institute of Education Improving the Quality of Education for All (IQEA) project.

It is not intended as a step-by-step guide to school improvement. Its authors say it provides recipes rather than TV dinners. The basic ingredients are the six conditions they regard as necessary to meet the demands of change: enquiry and reflection; collaborative planning; involvement of staff, students and the community in planning; a commitment to staff development; effective coordination and leadership throughout the school.

EFFECTIVE GOVERNORS FOR EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS Derek Esp and Rene Saran (ed) Pitman Publishing in association with the British Educational Management and Administration Society. Pounds 14.95

The core of this book is what the editors learnt from interviewing the heads and chairman of governors of 41 schools, though two introductory chapters by Joan Sallis on the role of more ordinary governors, and the reflections of two heads, a chair of governors who is a lawyer and a parent representative provide added value.

It may be of particular interest to heads and chairs since Saran and Esp focus upon this relationship and the part that plays in making schools more (or less) effective. Mutual respect and understanding are clearly the ideal. But what is worse for a school and its pupils; a chair who doesn't trust the head or one whose trust is misplaced? The final chapter by John Bazalgette of the Grubb Institute on "The search for meaning as a governor" will be welcomed by the bewildered.


Newly-qualified junior teachers with the most to learn about their profession are often given jobs in the less desirable schools where they are assigned the most unwanted classes. Then they are asked to pick up the co-ordination of the subjects that no one else wants, says Mike Harrison, introducing this compilation of the knowledge, skills and actions required to lead a national curriculum subject.

"Some newly-qualified teachers may find their opportunities to influence colleagues are limited. Hence the method used to get their method across may be just as important as the content itself," he warns in a practical book devoted to both content and leadership.

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