Why the roar of the lion cannot be heard

21st November 1997 at 00:00
Your report about Michael Bichard's address to the Secondary Heads Association and his remark about headteachers "whingeing" (TES, November 7) came to mind recently when I listened to an interview on Radio 5 Live.

A leading business adviser, Sid Joynson, was commenting on the dismissal of Bruce Rioch via Ceefax and on management style in general.

His theory is that the best management is all about good leadership. This country is, he says, blessed with neither good managers nor good leaders because after a setback we tend to "shoot the soldiers and not sack the generals".

Good leaders do not wield excessive critical power, they simply release the power of their workforce. The finest British leader of all time, Winston Churchill, was once asked if he had the heart of a lion to achieve all that he did. The great man chewed on his cigar and replied: "No, sir, the British people have the heart of a lion. I just provide the roar."

Michael Bichard, the permanent secretary to the Department for Education and Employment, obviously has aspirations to leadership as well as to being an administrator. Perhaps he should heed Churchill's fine example and be less Bichard the Lion-Heart-Remover and more the Bichard the Lion's Roar.

I do not teach, but believe that this country has teachers that are among the best in the world. What they lack is good management and leadership at national level to unlock their full creative power.


41 Meon Road


Chipping Campden


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