Message from above the parapet

14th April 2000 at 01:00
WOW! I now know what they meant by putting my head above the parapet. What I did not expect was a shot across the bows by a colleague.

From Ciaran Clerkin's letter (TES, March 31) it appears that he missed the original article (Friday magazine, February 18). If he had read that perhaps he would have understood the context of my letter to David Blunkett.

I am in the fortunate position of never having come across any disaffected teachers in my career, but I have only been a head for 15 years. What I have come across are dedicated teachers who feel undervalued and de professionalised despite doing their best to make "new" initiatives work.

Regarding the comment about "the low esteem in which teachers are held", Ciaran missed the point. I appreciate totally that parents value their own children's schools, and that,that value is in itself a measure of the openness and success of the school. The comment I made referred to the wider community and in particular those who govern either locally or nationally.

On the matter of bids, I believe that resources for children should be provided on a basis of need and therefore should not be part of a lottery. However, there are times when you want to access funds for specific purposes for new and exciting projects. I have been a partner in a successful inter-agency bid for pound;1.7million of Government money. But it has taken a year to appoint a project manager due to delays over the bidding process nationally.

The leadership style and effectiveness of the headteacher is in the eye of the beholder!

Carole Clayson

Wellesley First School

Wellesley Avenue North, Norwich

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