Give zones time

27th April 2001 at 01:00
It was good to hear of Portsmouth education action zone's successes but sad to read that zones may be scrapped ("Cold water poured on hotbeds of innovation", TES, April 6) .

The zones may be part of a slower revolution than ministers would like, but are playing a crucial role in rekindling the hopes of communities the Government is pledged to support.

What is needed here is a broader view of what zones are about and what is quietly being achieved.

In Corby we are pioneering new approaches to training classroom assistants and extending these to foundation-degree level. We are revitalising the way schols use technology by bringing in new expertise. We are creating teams of teachers across schools to look at curriculum planning. We have launched parenting courses to bring families back into learning. We are learning what works in the field of school improvement.

The cutting-edge activities in zones would make the most dynamic groundbreakers in industry proud. They should be given full support for the time it takes them to have a real effect.

Benjamin Collins

Project director, Challenge for Corby

Corby Professional Development Centre, Firdale, Cottingham Road

Corby, Northants

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