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Rigours of course reflect heads' role;Letter

I AM sorry that Kevin Moss finds fault with the National Professional Qualification for Headship (TES, January 8), but I am sure he would agree that it must be challenging and provide a rigorous and appropriate preparation for headship.

More than 5,000 teachers are enrolled and the first candidates have moved into their first headship post. By Easter, some 400 candidates should have achieved NPQH to be joined by more than 2,000 over the next year. NPQH would not be so successful if it suffered from endemic problems.

At the TTA we are constantly refining the qualification to ensure it is of the highest quality and to meet candidate feedback, for example through recent guidance to speed candidates' progress through their assessment tasks.

Contrary to Kevin's letter, far from being backward-looking, the school-based NPQH tasks put candidates into the head's position by taking responsibility for a major aspect of school management. I can also assure Kevin that those following the accelerated route will undertake some training and that all candidates will take the same final assessment.

Ultimately, a key test of the NPQH is the experience of those who have progressed to headship and I am heartened by the feedback we have had from them.

Anthea Millett

Chief executive, Teacher Training Agency

Portland House

Stag Place, London SW1E

Letter writers who communicate via e-mail (to letters@tes.co.uk) are requested to include their postal address. Letters may be cut.

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