Deconstructing Jarvis myths

16th May 2003 at 01:00
YOUR article perpetuated some myths relating to the school improvement contract awarded to Jarvis (TES, May 2).

Jarvis Education Services does not consist of a "bunch of engineers or builders" as some commentators have suggested - though I am sure Ted Wragg will be thinking of the fun he can get from this idea.

The staff of Jarvis Education Services have worked in education throughout their careers. We have five front-line staff working on the contract. Four have been successful directors of education; the fifth was a successful head of school improvement. None of us left LEAs to work on this contract.

Working in the private sector does not lessen either our passionate commitment to work in the interests of pupils or the regard we hold for teachers and local authority staff.

Jarvis Education Services does not have a contract to turn around failing secondary schools. It has been asked to provide support to LEAs as they work on an initiative known as School Improvement Adviser (SIA) programme.

This was set up by to support secondaries in danger of not achieving the Government's GCSE "floor targets". It is being delivered almost entirely by the public sector through SIAs appointed and employed by local authorities.

Most authorities have now identified an individual officer or seconded headteacher whose job it is to carry out the SIA tasks.

Jarvis Education Services' contract is to provide support such as a website to help SIAs share good practice with schools. We are also arranging (not delivering) a training programme for the advisers. None of this is particularly newsworthy - but we are well-equipped to undertake the work.

David Williams Director of education and quality Jarvis Education Services 28 Windmill Street, London W1

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