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All aboard for a first-class academy future

Despite having shared many a second-class train journey with Kingsbridge principal Roger Pope, I wish to applaud his stance on academies (Letters, September 10). One of my last acts as a head was to draw up and publish proposals for academy status.

For as well as funding benefits, there are two other major reasons for boarding the academy train: the school can develop its financial, commercial and management capacity; and as the expertise of the local authority wanes, it can support its local partners, especially primary schools.

I remember similar opposition to specialist schools. Those heads who remain unconvinced are under no obligation to make the journey.

But in the new Coalition world, the headteacher will be the king and schools their own masters. "All aboard" is the best advice.

Ray Tarleton, Former principal, South Dartmoor Community College, Devon.

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