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Independence is the key to happy heads

The high number of unfilled primary headships ("'Crisis' as a third of primary head posts go unfilled", January 14) has a direct link with low morale and poor perceptions of what the job entails.

With more than 600 schools spread across the UK, I feel that the Independent Association of Prep Schools is in position to offer a balanced perspective. We do not struggle with this problem in our schools and in fact enjoy a steady stream of high-quality applicants for headships. Last weekend, we ran a residential training course for aspiring heads which was fully booked and had a waiting list.

It's not that independent school heads are not under pressure. Quite the opposite. However, they are given the autonomy and responsibility to lead their school, without interference from the local authority or Government. This leads to high morale, high standards and high levels of job satisfaction.

David Hanson, Chief executive, Independent Association of Prep Schools.

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