Jersey in the lead in securing change

11th January 2008 at 00:00
In your editorial last week, you ask the question: "Is it time for education directors to trust teachers more?" My answer to that is a resounding "yes", since I believe there is clear evidence that such an approach can work very well indeed.

My evidence comes from the island of Jersey where the late, great Professor Ted Wragg described the impact of their critical skills programme training as "pioneering work which deserves wide publicity, both in Jersey and elsewhere". He added: "There is no reason why Jersey should not be giving a lead to the rest of the world on securing change for the better in schools. It is already in a prime position to do so."

Most of Jersey's headteachers and teachers have now been trained in the critical skills programme and, as a result, their education department has instituted a school evaluation system which is school-led.

In other words, having been trained in the programme, whose underpinning principles epitomise the notion of "trust", headteachers and their staff are now trusted to make professional judgments about the kind of support they need to improve the quality of their service. And it works - very well indeed.

Colin Weatherly

Critical Skills Programme manager (Scotland),

The Paddock, Gullane.

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