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Where are these conservatives?;Letter;News and opinion

I NOTE with increasing resignation Tony Blair's renewed exhortation to the newly-appointed head's conference to help him in his fight against the profession's "conservative tendency" who are allegedly preventing progress and the raising of standards.

It defies logic somewhat that headteachers who have implemented, for this Government and its predecessor, some hundreds of initiatives - a number of them truly revolutionary in their effect on the service - can be classed as opposing progress!

Many initiatives have been for the improvement of schools but many have not, and our concern must always be: "what is the effect on the children in our care?"

Innovation is necessary in any organisation but so is stability. If a new initiative does not work on a production line then try another one. If it fails in school then the children affected cannot go back and do it again.

What is becoming ever more apparent with Tony Blair's crusade against the "Luddites" is that if we do not agree with the new ideas, then it is we that are wrong and not the ideas.

There is no self-doubt here: the Government always knows best and such arrogance is worrying. As worrying perhaps that one headship vacancy in five in England and Wales is not being filled. Is there a connection, or are all the aspiring candidates so conservative in outlook that they cannot do the job?

Tony Roberts, Walton-le-Dale community primary school, Preston, Lancashire

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