In response to the comment piece from Professor Barker, there are a few issues I would like to address.
Contrary to his first assumption, there is no shortage of evidence that good school leaders can help turn around struggling schools. We also know that school leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning.
Our National Leaders of Education (NLEs) are improving the life chances of children and young people up and down the country. The evidence speaks for itself with both supported and supporting schools experiencing greater than average rates of improvement.
By 2012, we will have recruited 500 NLEs ready to be deployed. Rather than busting myths, their goal is to make a difference and I have every confidence they will.
Steve Munby, Chief executive, National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services.