In brief

30th January 2004 at 00:00
A Policy for Learning: a practical guide to writing or evaluating your teaching and learning policy. By Mike Hughes. Education Training and Support. pound;11.99 plus pound;2 pamp;p from PO Box 797, Cheltenham GL52 6WR.

There's something ironic about the way we've all suddenly woken up to the fact that schools should mostly be engaged in teaching and learning. We've been too engrossed in managing systems - finance, timetabling, handling performance data - all of which may well be easier to handle.

In this book, Mike Hughes, who has a record of putting research on learning and the brain into action in the classroom, helps schools to draw up a working policy that brings the focus back to where it should be. He provides not so much a ready-made policy as a set of guidelines and examples that schools can use to build their policies or evaluate what's in place.

The 15 main chapter headings (in the form of questions) themselves act as a quick checklist, including: "Does the policy stem from the school's values?"; "Is the policy based on research?"; and "How is the policy monitored and evaluated?"

Each chapter then sets out to help schools generate the right answer, with plenty of examples drawn from practice. Interest is kept up with the aid of a range of presentational devices: graphics, bullet points, lists, working documents; all actual examples from schools. It's a good read, and it's right on the button in terms of what most schools are trying to do now.

Gerald Haigh

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