The invisible middle man

7th September 2001 at 01:00
Roger Stewart's article (TESS, August 31) affects to be on the implementation of McCrone. In fact, it is about the three-way power struggle between the local auth-ority, demanding performance and "corporate commitment" from the reluctant major partner in local government; the schools, clobbered every which way, sometimes rightly; and the education HQ seeking to protect its position and to seek to ensure that no one notices it is the "middle man" in all this.

Mr Stewart is right to demand greater flexibility from teachers and schools. Perhaps as he was writing, he might have wondered whether the same pressures might have been applied to the whole of the "elaborate line management" that stretches all the way up to the centre. And designed in, well, actually the mid-90s.

He might also have wondered at what stage resolutely sticky performances across a number of schools in an authority with a self-consciously "strong" centre begins to turn the spotlight on the centre itself. West Lothian's non-teachingnon-school overhead are very high, yet performance remains disappointing.

"Encouraging diversity" requires a recognition that the real opportunities for improvement lie in the schools and in the resources voted them by politicians. I agree with Mr Stewart that structures should be moulded to the needs of young people. It would be best if the task extended to the whole of the delivery and cost system.

T R Clarkson Sedgebank, Livingston

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now