On the Fast Track

14th March 2008 at 00:00
Irena Barker's article on the Fast Track leadership scheme (TES, February 22) described a programme that will be unrecognisable to most of those who have taken part. CfBT, which has managed the programme from its inception, has plenty of evidence that Liz Robinson, a head who "absolutely adored" Fast Track, reflects the general view.

What anyone who saw trainees working together will have found bizarre is John Howson's description of the programme as a "centralised civil service model". I don't think Professor Howson ever attended a Fast Track event. They were a pleasure - energetic, invigorating and encouraging about future leadership. From my own observations, they provide a positive contribution to the profession, and your article undermines the sense of optimism which has stimulated that contribution.

The brand is not the issue here, and the National College for School Leadership's decision to replace it with something new is uncontroversial. But the notion of an accelerated leadership programme has worked well in this unique experiment.

Neil McIntosh, Chief Executive Officer, CfBT Education Trust, Reading, Berkshire.

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