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Network for heads launched

A new headteachers' group to campaign for primary education has been launched.

The National Primary Head Teachers' Association was set up by 28 heads to campaign on issues such as funding and promote education at key stages 1 and 2. Sir Malcolm Thornton, chairman of the Commons education select committee, has agreed to attend the official launch at a national conference in March.

Acting chairman Tony McKee, from Corinthian county primary, Liverpool, said the new body was being formed from regional groups of primary heads and was not intended as a political body or a threat to the National Association of Head Teachers, which represents a large majority of primary heads. It had been prompted by the campaign for parity of funding with secondary education.

"We would like to work alongside professional associations," said Mr McKee. "In our LEA we have heads in three or four associations, so they aren't able to come together as a group. The idea is to network across the country, to transfer information and to share documentation and good practice ."

Delegates from five regional heads' groups at the meeting at Warwick University last weekend are now formulating policy on funding, non-contact time, inspection, the Code of Practice for special educational needs and the under-fives. Mr McKee said the meeting was "furious" at the Government's refusal to tackle funding disparities, which typically give secondary pupils twice as much funding as primary children.

Further details can be obtained from the acting secretary Susan Barker, NPHTA, Ladybridge Primary School, Councillor Lane, Cheadle, Stockport SK8 2JF.

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