Choose your mentors well

12th December 1997 at 00:00
So, the latest plans for training heads include using people like me as mentors ("Heads' training to be tailor-made", TES, November 28). I am a qualified middle manager working for a blue-chip company that extensively uses information technology.

I would imagine that I or my colleagues might be the very people who would be approached. But there is one big snag - the overwhelming evidence is that my colleagues would have absolutely nothing to offer a mentee and indeed, a lot could be learnt if the roles were reversed.

The long-held view that the business or industrial world uses skills which could magically improve educationally management is utterly wrong.

To attempt to describe some of the practices that headteachers would be exposed to is to invite incredulity and ridicule.

For example, last week I was asked to pencil in a meeting for Thursday at 9am with the human resources manager - no duration stated, no agenda. It was re-scheduled twice and it was finally announced, on Thursday, that it would be for all managers on the following Monday and it would last all afternoon. I am sure nobody in education would be prepared to take lessons in time management from anybody who operates in such an environment.

The world of education and educational management leads the way in many of its highly professional practices. By all means add to this strength, but for goodness sake be very careful of the competence and relevance of your role models.


4 Johnsons Field Olney Buckinghamshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now