I WAS encouraged to read about Holland Park's "moderniser" headteacher Colin Hall (TES, 15 November).
As a former student of his some six years ago in Oxford, I have witnessed his teaching style, and policy changes first hand. I cannot stress enough how important and successful his changes were, and how they changed the ethos of the school.
Having somebody who believes so strongly not only in the changes, but also in the ability of the students to rise to meet his expectations, is crucial. The setting of boundaries, and enforcing of "minor" rules such as silence in assemblies is the first step which gives students an indication that they need to focus even on the little things, making them take things more seriously when the more significant changes are introduced.
I accept that people and institutions are sometimes reluctant to embrace change, but in the case of this particular head, his results prove that change is a positive thing. However, it is not just about results. It is about a person who has great vision and the ability to motivate students, by implementing practical changes throughout the school, and also by building relationships with the students.
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