As a subject leader you are responsible both for encouraging the professional development of your colleagues and for raising the levels of pupil achievement in your subject. Action research offers a way of doing both these things which is non-threatening to teachers. It also gives you a chance to monitor work in your subject in a way which enhances, rather than diminishes teacher self-esteem. It can lead to the staff becoming a selfcritical and reflective community in which people support each other in developing their work. Busher and Harris suggest that action research is ‘likely to promote effective social cohesion in a subject area team and coherent and effective team approaches to improving practice’ (2000:viii).