Cross-sector leadership is not so unique

Jennifer Longhurst

Martin Stephen ("Contributing to the best of both worlds", Letters, 16 March) says that a unique feature of Clarendon Academies is that its educational policy comes from an independent school head and one from a maintained school - in a way that "has not been attempted before".

Not so. In 2000, when I was head of Surbiton High, the Church Schools Company began planning to set up two academies. In 2002, it founded the United Learning Trust and today, as the UCSTULT group, it has 12 independents and 21 academies. The two deputy chief executives are heads from the maintained and independent sectors.

Heads from both sectors working together has been a much-appreciated feature of the group from the very beginning.

Jennifer Longhurst, Former headmistress, Surbiton High School, Surrey.

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Jennifer Longhurst

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