3rd February 2006 at 00:00
Leadership and SEN: Meeting the Challenge in Special and Mainstream Settings By Nick Burnett David Fulton, pound;18

The head of a special school has some strong words at the start of this book. "The leader of SEN in the future is one who will question the status quo - if you don't question it, then you will not change it." The finer points of how he was able to do this every day would have made it more interesting. But Nick Burnett doesn't deal with the practical detail of building partnerships between special schools and mainstream.

Despite this, the book should be of interest to special needs policymakers in local authorities. Heads of special and mainstream schools will find the chapter on recent legislation and Every Child Matters a useful summary of changing working relationships between schools and social services.

Overall, the message is obscured with too many complex spider-diagrams and mind-maps, which confuse rather than clarify issues.

Paul Blum Senior manager, Islington Green school, north London

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