Rural reality

19th September 2003 at 01:00
Contrary to what Ewan Chalmers asserts about "the suburban myth" of bullied headteachers (letters last week), I do not propagate myths. I have hard evidence of bullying of headteachers in eight education authorities in Scotland: five examples were made known to me after the news feature appeared in The TES Scotland on August 22.

Headteachers have been successfully conspired against, removed from their posts and their careers destroyed as a result of concerted gossip, well planned grievances and, in some cases although not all, by weak education officials.

Far from being a suburban myth, the evidence to date suggests that this is largely also a rural reality.

Ewan Chalmers may care to imagine what chance a new headteacher would have if his "inherited praetorian guard of largely non-teaching deputes", as he puts it, was hostile, or what chance a headteacher would have if those who had failed to win the head's post determined to subvert the new headteacher.

No two schools are alike: Ewan Chalmers's experience clearly has not included individuals or staffs bullying his headteachers. Bullying of headteachers is not universal, but it has and is taking place.

I am happy to learn in confidence of other examples.

Colin Campbell Shuttle Street Kilbarchan

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