The problem is that Nick Clegg's recent announcement of more superheads looks very similar to David Blunkett's 2000 initiative - and to the initiatives that led to the problems outlined in this recent Spectator article!
The problem isn't of course just confined to education. Business leaders, such as Jeff Skilling and Kenneth Lay at Enron, arrive at companies, make massive improvements and are feted by the media and public - before the mask slips and the company (and employees and customers) suffer badly.
What is the alternative? What makes a successful, long term organisation? The answer is simple to say but difficult to achieve. Organisations that have a shared, clear vision and a culture that supports it are those that work. It's what Jim Collins found in his seminal book 'Good to Great'*. (And in passing it's what I found on my MBA dissertation where I spent time analysing 6 successful marketing support companies).
How do we achieve this in schools? The problem is that creating a long term shared vision and culture by definition takes time. It's the antithesis of the 'football manager' culture in many schools that seeks immediate improvement. It's definitely not about meeting OFSTED's presumed demands.
It's about creating teams and learning to work together (something that can be a challenge to those who've always worked in a school). It's about seeing problems as something for everyone to solve, not to be passed on down a chain. It's about using personal knowledge as well as data to drive improvement. It's about identifying talent and working with teachers to develop their skills, not imposing every more challenging targets.
Of course, once you have a genuine shared vision and a culture that works with this, it become a lot easier to market a school. Everyone know what makes the school a great school - whatever OFSTED may say!
*If you want to see how 'Good to Great' can be applied to an educational context, read the excellent 'What makes a great school?' by United Learning's Andy Buck (free copies from here).
And if you disagree, please comment!