Lessons of Phoenix experience

6th February 1998 at 00:00
Your article on Phoenix High School which profiled the work of the headteacher William Atkinson was undermined by a serious flaw which asserted a simple untruth.

It is not the case that Mr Atkinson ever had to "face-down the NUT". It is also an exaggeration to imply that the National Union of Teachers was occupying a management vacuum prior to Mr Atkinson's arrival.

There have been no dismissals or disciplinary procedures regarding competency matters within the school. The procedures introduced by management have all been subject to consultation and negotiation and operate within guidelines successfully negotiated within the school, within national guidelines and supported, where necessary, by the local association.

There are many lessons to be learned from the Phoenix experience. One important lesson is that teachers, and their unions, are part of the solution to problems facing schools. It is often political prejudice or simple ignorance which believes it is anything different.

DENNIS CHARMAN Secretary Hammersmith Fulham Teachers' Association co 62 Cobbold Rd, London W12

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


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