Mike Fielding sees middle management in schools in terms of implementation of the "vision" and of a "sensitive bridging of the gap between senior managers and the staff on the ground".
In order to discharge these functions their "best hope is teamwork". Cynicism is one of the "pitfalls" to be avoided.
The role thus represented is not "multiplicitous" but schizophrenic. The middle manager is expected to be an implementational cog in a bureaucratic machine, and then turn round and participate in sharing, caring collegiality in his or her own team. It is not cynicism to suggest that Mr Fielding is asking a great deal here.
His model works if middle management has a voice at the vision and policy stage, but this remains a missing link in his argument. To expect seasoned professionals merely to implement the decisions of others is bound to foster rather than erode the baronial mentality.
LIONEL WARNER, 10 Sunderland Close, Woodle, Berks