Letters extra: bullying heads

17th August 2001 at 01:00

Am I alone in finding Joan Sallis's advice to a governor concerned about a head's bullying itself a cause for concern (Agenda, August 10)?

Reports of management bullying in schools have increased in line with the rise of league tables, a stressful inspection regime, knowledgably belligerent pupils and parents, and a fall in the power of all trades unions. The only hope for a school where the head is on a mission to get rid of staff in the clumsy, cruel and unprofessional way described is for the head to be cautioned and ultimately dismissed by the governors.

Heads who are "encouraged to move on" by their governors are invariably given a tremendous financial package (unless criminal charges are involved), will no doubt publish therapeutic articles and cathartic books, and can afford to potter about the golf course or the garden. Junior staff and middle management who suffer such a fate are finished and very often their marriages fail as a result. Moreover, their standing in the community is held up to scrutiny for years and many feel they must move to another area or even go abroad.

Governors must deal with bullying heads - nobody else can or will.

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