Choosing quality, not mediocrity

27th September 1996 at 01:00
I happen to be the "competitive and aggressive head" of RJ Clark's letter (TES, August 30), although I am not sure my colleagues in school or even neighbouring headteachers would recognise me from the pen portrait.

I have taught in a number of local authority schools, most recently as a deputy head and I know all too well the vagaries of support - financial and otherwise - that local authorities can give.

Our parents wanted us to become grant-maintained and that status - alongside becoming a technology college - has allowed a hard-working staff to pull round an under-subscribed school that had not previously benefited greatly from an "efficient" authority.

I actually enjoy relatively cordial relations with my neighbouring heads - I even meet with them on occasions! Grant-maintained or not, we all know the score with parental choice, but competition does not have to cancel out co-operation.

As a grant-maintained school we have greater choice about earmarking funds - and greater funds. Local radio is only one option: it can pay to be different! We intend to be a successful school and we relish the independence which allows us to manage things in the way that benefits our pupils and parents, and allows them quality not mediocrity.

GILLIAN JAMES Headteacher Archbishop Temple School St Vincent's Road Fulwood Preston Lancashire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today