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What do they mean...

This is a cunning concept, with a deceptively simple surface, beyond which naive souls need look no further. For them, LEPs (that didn't take long, did it?), are about exceptional schools working together to develop best practice, which can then be disseminated throughout the school system.

But this is only a minor part of the LEPs' function. In reality, LEP has been created as a high-level jargon generator, a thing of beauty for devotees of tortured or indecipherable language. Within the LEPs can be found such gems as pupil inclusion and engagement, and the virtual classroom, not forgetting collaborative learning communities. (Strictly speaking, which we aren't, an LEP is a collaborative learning community, but in the labyrinth of Department for Education and Skills thinking, the one has to engineer the other.) The scope for further jargon is enormous, and here everyone can join in. We could have cross-fertilisation initiatives, multi-lateral specialisms, seed-bed thinkingI What LEPs must also do is "promote the development of hard-edged and sustainable partnerships". We now have a hierarchy of edges. Perhaps schools from Alderley Edge, Wenlock Edge and Nether Edge could be encouraged to take part, and they could all edge their way forward together. Cricket enthusiasts can have fun with inside edges, thin edges, thick edges and bottom edges, but there is a danger here of being caught out.

It may be worth noting that a leading edge is the foremost edge of a propeller blade. Which, as we all know, goes round in circles.

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