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Academies are damaging our children's life chances and putting our most seasoned educationists out of action

Inspired by the revelation that a complete absence of teaching experience is no barrier to being appointed head of an academy, I realise that, by extension, a whole new vista of career opportunities has opened up before me.

I might go and direct the Nasa programme, conduct the London Symphony Orchestra, manage Manchester United, perhaps. I'd have scientists to tell me which way to point the rockets, musicians to tell me what to do with my baton, coaches and physios to remind me which is my arse and which my elbow.

And if I make a hash of it, why worry? It's only other people's lives, after all.

Mike Lim, Bolton, Greater Manchester.

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