Heads who can

3rd October 1997 at 01:00
Anthea Millett of the Teacher Training Agency rightly says that "today's successful heads ... engage in constructive debate about teaching" (TES, September 19). Too many headteachers, however, are not able to do this, not that they lack skills in debating, but because far too many headteachers don't teach.

Teaching needs to be continually practised. If heads are to lead their schools by "constructive debate about teaching", then they must come to that debate with demonstrably good skills as teachers. This is not to say that headship is really no different from being a classroom teacher. It is to say that good heads need to be good at the most important job done in a school and that is teaching children.

ALAN MANASSEH

Senior professional officer Professional Association of Teachers Derby

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