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Past it?

Following your report "Heads spurn job vacancies" (TES, January 12), I would love to be a headteacher.

However, despite being highly regarded as a senior manager in my present school, I am unable even to secure a deputy-headship and this is because I am a) female and b) over 40.

The second of these factors is more significant than the first, but the two are closely linked.

When my male colleagues were busy attending courses and conferences, making their faces familiar in high places and generally pushing themselves forward for promotion, I was spending my after-school hours marking books, preparing lessons, visiting the maternity hospital and changing nappies.

By the time I was ready to return to the fray I was 35 too old.

Women such as myself are certainly not afraid of hard work and are used to the pressure of trying to do two or three jobs simultaneously. However, when our job applications are received it seems that we number among the "mad and the bad".

JENNIFER BISHOP

Old Furnace Cottage

Knowbury

Ludlow

Salop

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