Trust in teachers' expertise
As a special educational needs professional with 37 years' front-line experience, I wholeheartedly agree with Mary Bousted ("We're a long way from the democratic ideal", 18 July) in her incisive assessment of how and why school leaders need to move to a democratic, horizontal model.
Notwithstanding Ofsted ratings, no teacher or school community wants to be anything less than excellent in how they support, develop and promote the learning and progress of their students - and the same invariably applies to the development of staff. Moving from special measures to at least good requires leaders to take control; beyond that they need to let go and trust in the expertise and experience of colleagues.
Yes, data plays its part but the most effective teachers are those who can engage their charges by building positive relationships, hooking them in to education and learning, engaging with parents and developing a growth mindset among everyone with whom they work.
Leeds, West Yorkshire
A wide world of opportunity
I read your article concerning the draw of the international education market on UK teachers ("Sun, sea, sand.and international schools", 1 August) with interest.
As your article highlights, the growing British international schools market offers a wealth of opportunity for teachers from the UK; yet, as a group, we are seeing increasing competition from Australian, New Zealand and American teachers.
I found the warnings about the problems facing teachers overseas a little overblown, although it is wise for them to do their research carefully. Many reputable schools in the international market offer teachers rich and rewarding careers in some very high-achieving schools. The emphasis is on careers, not short-term contracts. International schools are increasingly at the forefront of new developments in education.
We work closely with Dulwich College in London on our senior appointments and several teachers have moved from our "mother" school to our establishments in Asia. This is not altruism. It is to ensure that our students benefit from some of the best teachers in the world.
Director of communications and marketing, Dulwich College International
An inspirational lesson to learn
I was recently asked to teach English (my mother tongue) to a Spanish student who was born blind 50 years ago. My first reaction was: what a bad gig! Instead, I have been humbled.
Through the miracle of Braille, she can communicate in several languages. When she reads, sometimes exasperatingly slowly, her fingers racing across the keys, it is as if I were teaching a child. But she is not a child and her mind is exceptional. Her face, when she gets an answer right, takes on the ecstatic expression of a medieval saint. What a privilege.
Chichester, West Sussex