Research is in our remit

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
Your supplement Classroom Discoveries (TES, June 11) quotes Professor Judy Sebba's criticism of the Secondary Heads Association for a failure to use or commission research.

Although your reporter gave me no opportunity to comment on this allegation, I can cite many instances of SHA's involvement in research, often jointly with other organisations.

SHA and the National Association of Head Teachers commission Professor John Howson to produce recruitment statistics every year and this research contributes greatly to national understanding of school leadership supply and demand.

The two associations have recently helped to fund a Nottingham university team, led by Professor Christopher Day, which has produced a report, "Making a difference in schools and their communities: themes of successful headship". SHA has also part-funded a research project on women in school leadership, led by Professor Alistair Ross of London Metropolitan university.

Such examples demonstrate that, although the SHA membership and budget are considerably smaller than the other teacher associations, we are strongly committed to research and its use in evidence-based policy-making.

John Dunford General secretary Secondary Heads Association 130 Regent Road Leicester

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