Letters Extra: Questioning our professionalism again

14th February 2003 at 00:00

The DfES' latest observation on the professionalism of those who work in schools cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged (Prepare to be judged by your peers, TES,nbsp;January 31).nbsp;

You quote Helen Walker of the school workforce unit as saying, "We are looking at whether external advisers should have access to the final objectives set between governors and headteachers, to compare against what they advised."nbsp;

This seems to imply that the adviser's task is not to advise but to direct - and it is the function of governors and headteachers to do as they are told.nbsp;

A second, and more disturbing, implication is that, after objectives have been discussed in the presence of the external adviser, governors and headteachers connive to re-arrange things to make life more comfortable for themselves.nbsp;

There is no doubt that peer appraisal of headteachers, as Chris Henstock (Talking Point) has suggested, is a better way. Only headteachers can fully understand the concept and practices of headship.nbsp;The DfES is right to consider it.

But not, please, on the back of a culture of innuendo that headteachers and governors are failing to do a professional job very successfully.

Alan McMurray
Corsica Cottage

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