Reflection on heads' training

16th June 2000 at 01:00
IT could be the way you tell 'em but the apparent attack on the Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers by Professor Chris Day (TES, June 2) is bizarre.

Professor Day's Nottingham University study of just 12 heads came to the conclusion that they had "strong values and personal beliefs" and that the "training for serving heads did not reflect these key 'people-centred' values and needs a serious rethink".

Any head who has been through the LPSH programme will remember the models of excellence which is based on a larger study of effective heads conducted by a team from the Hay McBer management consultancy. At the heart of these models of excellence is "personal values and passionate conviction" - almost identical to the Nottingham findings.

Chris Day is quoted as saying that the programme does not ask head to reflect on their own values. This is complete tosh. As an LPSH trainer for 11 programmes, I have watched the extraordinary moment when 143 heads received the anonymous feedback on their own leadership characteristics.

The LPSH is designed as a very "reflective" four days. There are some heads, of course, who choose to do less reflection than others. Reflection is something that you do, it is not done to you.

The follow-up day, two terms later, provides heads with further opportunities for reflection and discussion about their own values, beliefs and styles. I must also point out that Frank Hartle, the Hay McBerLPSH project director, continuously emphasises the importance of "tough love", when speaking to headteachers.

Jim Laing

Ridgeway Associates

Vicarage Close

Calne, Wiltshire

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