'Clearly effective' without PTs

7th May 2004 at 01:00
An East Lothian secondary that ditched principal teachers and appointed curriculum managers has been praised by HMI.

Ross High in Tranent is said by inspectors to be "clearly an effective school" with evidence at all stages that attainment is improving. "The headteacher gave leadership of very high quality," they state in their report on the 870-pupil school.

Helen Alexander, the headteacher, seized the chance last year to phase in curriculum managers but drew strong criticism from teacher unions, particularly the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, for abandoning the posts of principal teacher of subject.

Critics argued that subject teaching and management would suffer. But inspectors report that parents and staff believe the school to be well led.

HMI says of the head: "In her five years in post, she had moved the school forward very significantly. Her strategic and consultative style of leadership had given very effective direction while empowering staff teamwork and giving pupils a voice in decisions affecting their daily lives."

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