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Choosing quality, not mediocrity

I happen to be the "competitive and aggressive head" of RJ Clark's letter (TES, August 30), although I am not sure my colleagues in school or even neighbouring headteachers would recognise me from the pen portrait.

I have taught in a number of local authority schools, most recently as a deputy head and I know all too well the vagaries of support - financial and otherwise - that local authorities can give.

Our parents wanted us to become grant-maintained and that status - alongside becoming a technology college - has allowed a hard-working staff to pull round an under-subscribed school that had not previously benefited greatly from an "efficient" authority.

I actually enjoy relatively cordial relations with my neighbouring heads - I even meet with them on occasions! Grant-maintained or not, we all know the score with parental choice, but competition does not have to cancel out co-operation.

As a grant-maintained school we have greater choice about earmarking funds - and greater funds. Local radio is only one option: it can pay to be different! We intend to be a successful school and we relish the independence which allows us to manage things in the way that benefits our pupils and parents, and allows them quality not mediocrity.

GILLIAN JAMES Headteacher Archbishop Temple School St Vincent's Road Fulwood Preston Lancashire

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