Wilshaw strikes a chord

12th October 2012 at 01:00

I agree with Sir Michael Wilshaw regarding the emphasis he puts on "great teaching" ("Leading from the front", Comment, 5 October). Such sentiments mirror what the late Ted Wragg often emphasised in your columns: that it is individual teachers who make a difference. However, Sir Michael's assertion that it is "the role of the headteacher and other school leaders to lead, model, monitor and manage teaching so they can get the best from their colleagues" reflects a prevailing approach that tends to stifle the development of teachers' pedagogy.

"Managing and monitoring" functions are indeed key aspects for school leaders. However, on matters of effective pedagogy, the "leadership and modelling" is more likely to be found elsewhere, among gifted and reflective teachers whose career path has kept them classroom-focused. Their pedagogy will have developed beyond that reached by those who have opted to move into senior management.

David Cross, Teacher and trainer, Leicester.

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