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Give thanks for broad church of secondary heads

Marsha Elms is sadly mistaken in the comments she made following the recent Secondary Heads Association conference in Newcastle (TES, May 3). SHA is and will remain a broad church which represents all secondary heads.

John Sutton, the association's general secretary and John Dunford, the president, were rightly defending comprehensive education which has been denigrated and caricatured by the populists of the Right. If most secondary heads at the conference showed their opposition to selection, it was its extension and associated structural upheaval which caused concern.

Standards need to be raised for the majority and not a minority as the Government's own national targets show. Support for continuing improvement in all schools is the answer; not a return to selection. There is a diversity in the secondary sector which is likely to remain. John Sutton and John Dunford were not attacking this, but a threat which would impoverish and harm many outstanding comprehensive schools.

R WILSON

Headteacher, Parkview school

West Avenue, Barrow-in-Furness

Cumbria

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