Sir, Toby Young’s call for business leaders to be made headteachers (report, Oct 29) should be rejected by teachers and parents. Young wants business leaders to apply their managerial experience to the running of schools — but schools are not businesses, which exist for the benefit of owners and shareholders. They are human institutions where parents meet to share their primary responsibility for their children with others whose training and experience form the basis of trust.
Schools do need to be businesslike, but it is one thing to appoint a bursar to take a senior lead in the management of the enterprise under the direction of teachers, and quite another to appoint someone who has not faced children in a classroom and given an account to parents of their stewardship.
This sense of stewardship lies at the heart of good teaching, and before you can lead a school you must earn the respect of your fellow teachers and the trust of parents. Just as parents are more willing to trust teachers rather than politicians, so will they set more store by teaching experience than management skills.
Head of Twyford C of E High School 1995-98, East Mersea, Essex