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Call in the feds

Anyone close to education knows that the toxic spending by New Labour cannot be sustained. Serious budget cuts will have to be made whoever is elected next year.

I loved the sarcasm in Gerard Kelly's excellent comments ("Put down the machete, Mr Balls", September 25), but they failed to recognise that headteachers in their current guise are in the last chance saloon.

I do not believe that federating secondary schools in our major towns and cities would disembowel our education service. Headteachers no longer do the job they were intended to do: that is, lead from the classroom. I became a school leader because I wanted to rejuvenate the classroom experience for youngsters, not chase paper or attend puerile meetings.

The federation of groups of schools each with a managing director and one board of "qualified" governors would streamline and professionalise the running of our schools.

The current national organisation of schools is a muddle and I believe federation is a solution where professionally competent management take the business decisions and headteachers lead the education from the chalk face.

Tony Callaghan, Director of Teachers in Classrooms, Alpington, Norfolk.

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