Letters Extra: Who'd be a manager?

6th December 2002 at 00:00

Professor Howson ('Throwing in the trowel', 22 Nov) wonders how schools are going to find senior managers when mature entrants to teaching are 'happy to stay in the classroom'. Perhaps some are only happy to do so once they have seen for themselves the slog of others ascending the promotion pyramid. How many people in the staffroom do we see who have been able to transfer their skills from a previous workplace, teach three or four years, and then gain a middle or senior management position? Teachers are expected to have gained their 'war medals' in the classroom before promotion - they have to have survived the campaign (which must be long), bear some scars, and to have witnessed the fallen.

Schools might do well to adopt new ideas about the qualities that all teachers bring to the promotion interview - and at the same time avoid Professor Howson's outrageously linear line of reasoning. It's not only "the least good in the workforce" who are shed during redundancies - voluntary redundancy, for example, allows for the adaptable, flexible and multi-skilled to take themselves elsewhere. Some of these might even consider teaching, if we are lucky.

Jane Keeley, 'The Burrows', Brailsford, Derbyshire nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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