First, the independence which is so desirable is not necessarily advanced by the possession of local financial control, nor advanced prospectively by extending its scope. Indeed it may be a distracting extra worry and, one has to say, an occasion for aggravation between head and staff where the former will either not consult or not listen to the results of any conversations.
But, second, the flaw in Mr Bell's article is his apparent restriction in considering alone the relationship between directorate and headship. Surely account should properly be taken of the place of the democratically elected education committees. Many of these are now bringing forward issues as they never were in the big regions.
Third, the whole matter of the independence of the headship depends on deeper issues. If authorities, elected members and officials can somehow recover the genuine trustfulness that some of us can remember as existing - a level of relationship lowered by organised sniping by national politicians and scandal-seeking media (we do not seem to be wholly free of either despite May 1) - then a truly responsible and desirable state of independence may come to be.
JOHN TAYLOR Woodlands Grove, Kilmarnock