Have you noticed?;Briefing;Governors

26th February 1999 at 00:00
My headteacher is attending a leadership course organised by the Teacher Training Agency in March. This requires me to answer 99 questions on her characteristics, 75 on her leadership style and 50 on the context for school improvement. Real answers are not required as real people will not be reading the forms, only computers.

I just fill in boxes to indicate levels of agreement with impenetrable statements. "Sees and takes time to reflect on patterns and connections, and their significance, in shaping vision and direction," for instance, fails to conjure up for me a picture of my beloved head, or anyone else, come to that.

I could have responded to statements like, "Would you give her your last jelly baby?" or "Gets tetchy if governors' meetings over-run into Coronation Street" - but unaccountably, they were omitted.

And the section on leadership style does not seem to relate to any primary head I know. Like every personality questionnaire in a women's magazine, it is quite clear which are the desirable characteristics. Theideal head should be visionary, dynamic, innovative, risk-taking, leading from the front. Real headteachers are increasingly, unwillingly, limited to merely implementing prescriptive national policies with which they may or may not agree to reach targets they may not accept as valid.

Sad really, isn't it? Jelly baby, anyone?

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today