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So which headteachers will grab the limelight in 2008? We can't say for sure, but they may include heads who had the high est profile in 2007. A top 10 based on the number of mentions in the national press last year gives the number one spot to Anthony Seldon, head of Wellington College, Berkshire, whose profile was boosted by his biography of Tony Blair.

In second place was Martin Stephen, outspoken head of St Paul's School, London, followed by Pat Langham, head of Wakefield Girls' School and president of the Girls' Schools Association.

The highest-scoring state head was Paul Kelley, in fourth place for his work at Monkseaton College in North Tyneside, which revamped its curriculum using neuroscientific principles.

The rest of the top 10 were, in order: Tony Little, of Eton, Bernard Trafford of Wolverhampton Grammar, Bernice McCabe of North London Collegiate, and Michael Wilshaw of Mossbourne Academy, Jo Shuter (pictured) of Pimlico School and Aydin Onac of Fortismere School, all in London.

The top 10 was evenly split between state and private schools. But if you are placing bets on who will break into the list in 2008, two independent school heads in Cheltenham might be safe choices: Tim Hastie-Smith, head of Dean Close School, and Vicky Tuck, head of Cheltenham Ladies' College, are becoming presidents of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Girls' Schools Association, respectively.

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