I have enjoyed reading Mike Kent's columns for years, envying his staff, pupils and parents the leadership of a man who has a seemingly healthy disrespect for bureaucracy and a delight in sharing the daily joys and achievements of his charges. I have even enjoyed his comments about local authority officers, regarding them as a plumb line for my interactions with schools.
In my own authority, we have been delighted to help schools develop a robust system of peer-to-peer support: schools have their own up-to-date expertise, and it is right that the banks of local authority officers have disappeared so they can do this for themselves.
I hope that Mr Kent finds a new voice in retirement: there is plenty to comment on in the world of education for a head with such extensive experience, without harking back to the days of the Inner London Education Authority and constantly denigrating local authority officers, most of whom do the job they do because they share Mr Kent's passion for children's achievement and inclusion. The government is dismantling local education authorities: we don't need our colleagues promulgating the myth that we are incompetent wastrels who are out of touch with the business of teaching to top it all off.
Claire Bibby, Broadbottom, Hyde.