Super heads can work wonders

5th March 2010 at 00:00

It is unfortunate that your editorial repeats canards about Finland's world-class education system, which has transformed what was an agricultural backwater into one of the world's most dynamic high-tech economies ("Imports are all very well, but we export, too", February 26).

The two most important features of Finnish education are its fully comprehensive state schools and its highly educated teaching force. These features did not arise from Finland's "homogeneity" but from far-sighted political leadership. Moreover, there is no evidence that the system "neglects the talented". Britain, by contrast, has a highly stratified system of schools, disguised as one which offers "choice and diversity", and an under-educated teaching force.

As Professor Barker showed in his article, the rationale for this system is false and derives from the unwillingness of successive governments to confront the vested interests of a powerful minority. If anyone's talents are being neglected, they are those of the millions of British children who have not been born into wealth and privilege.

Michael Pyke, Campaign for State Education, Lichfield, Staffordshire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now