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'Groovy' Quaker at the top again

"GROOVIEST head to chair influential society", was how a local paper announced that John Dunston had been elected to chair the Society of Heads of Independent Schools (SHMIS).

The grooviness of Mr Dunston, head of Leighton Park, the Quaker co-educational day and boarding school in Reading, was short-lived: 14 weeks in 1971, when his group The Congregation reached number four in the charts with "Softly Whispering I Love You".

Now 46, he still sings, but in the Bach Choir. It is the importance of music in his life, and his concern about its state-sector decline, that led him to choose the arts as the theme for the first open SHMIS conference.

He belongs both to SHMIS and to the Headmasters' and Headmistress' Conference, relishing the variety of the latter which has only 84 members, ranging from dyslexia specialists to music schools including the Yehudi Menuhin School.

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