Lesson for heads

20th June 2008 at 01:00
It is highly significant that Peter Noble, the first person from a non-teaching background to lead an English state school, has been appointed as chief executive rather than head ("Meet the man running two schools who has never been trained to teach", TES, June 6) as it emphasises the difference between strategic and operational leadership
It is highly significant that Peter Noble, the first person from a non-teaching background to lead an English state school, has been appointed as chief executive rather than head ("Meet the man running two schools who has never been trained to teach", TES, June 6) as it emphasises the difference between strategic and operational leadership.

In my social life outside school I meet many people who are not teachers or heads but have an extremely intelligent view of strategic leadership and management from their experiences in the business world or public services other than education. Are we so parochial that we do not believe we have anything to learn from them? If so, I fear for the next generation of students who will enter our schools.

The model of one headteacher for one school has served us very well and will, I am sure, continue to thrive. But it is not the only model that can work. Headship has changed dramatically in the last decade and we, in education, should be open-minded about the new models of leadership.

Simon Thompson, Headteacher, Notley High, Braintree, Essex.

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