Profile was less than fair to DFEE predecessor

19th January 1996 at 00:00
The profile of the new permanent secretary at the Department for Education and Employment ("The very model of a modern mandarin", TES, January 12) was appropriately positive. Like many others, I welcome the appointment of someone with his range of talents and experiences and I look forward to working with him.

The brusque summary of his predecessor's time as permanent secretary, however, seems less than fair. Sir Tim Lankester, while at the department, did much to improve communications with schools, local education authorities and higher education institutions, and to recreate the vital sense of partnership that had been lost over recent years. Presenting him simply as an "establishment mandarin . . . (Eton and Cambridge)" misstates his schooling and ignores his achievement at the DFEE, his record of service at the Overseas Development Agency (an excellent position for one of the first Voluntary Service Overseas recruits) and the contribution he brings to the leadership of the School of Oriental and African Studies.

PETER MORTIMORE

Director of the Institute of Education, and member of the board of trustees of VSO

University of London

20 Bedford Way, London WC1

Editor's note: Sir Tim Lankester attended Monkton Combe School, Bath, not Eton. We are sorry for this error.

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

Comments

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