Pasi Sahlberg made a vital point at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar last month in attributing much of the success in Finnish schools to parents and communities ("'Superstars' won't save the day, expert claims", 1 November). Until all schools in the UK make a commitment to working in a genuine partnership with parents and communities, thereby creating strong local institutions, we are unlikely to see the levels of achievement that Finland demonstrates. Parents need to understand what and how their children are learning so that they can support them. Furthermore, they need to be involved in discussion and decision-making so that they have a real sense of ownership and belonging. Parents and members of the community often have much that they can offer to schools if given the opportunity. We are missing an important trick if we do not take Mr Sahlberg's message seriously.
Fiona Carnie, Vice-president, European Forum for Freedom in Education.