Leadership college is inspirational

24th October 2003 at 01:00
I am not particularly surprised to read of Chris Woodhead's criticism of the National College for School Leadership (TES, October 10). Speaking from a base of evidence rather than prejudice was never one of his strong points.

But I am disappointed by your snide and sarcastic editorial in which you seem to take exception to the word "connecting" in the college's response.

I am a participant on the NCSL "New visions for early headship" programme and I cannot speak highly enough of it. I do indeed "connect" with it, and with the writing and thoughts of inspirational and authentic professionals such as John West-Burnham.

The programme has inspired and challenged me in those aspects of headship which Chris Woodhead and his ilk would least value - the moral dimension and interpersonal relationships to name but two. It has helped me to explore the skills and demands of leadership in a way that nothing of Chris Woodhead's oeuvre ever did. Perhaps this is because it is facilitated by those actually making a success of headship, rather than baling out after a short and rather dubious career to pontificate to people with twice their integrity.

My school's initial experiences of the NCSL's "Leading from the middle" lead me to expect that this too will be of immense value.

Gail Gregory Headteacher Sneyd community school Audmore Villa Audmore Gnosall, Staffordshire

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