Congratulations to David Bell on his appointment as chief education officer in Newcastle ( TES, September 1 ). Like all wise education officers, he is careful with words.
His claim to be the first comprehensive school-educated chief education officer was qualified with the word "probably". As someone educated at the Grove comprehensive school, Shropshire, from 1965 to 1969, and having subsequently served as chief education officer in Nottinghamshire from 1991 to 1994, I must predate David.
Unless of course he went to comprehensive school aged five, in which case I concede. I suspect, however, someone out there will claim still greater precedence. Probably.
PETER HOUSDEN Chief executive Nottinghamshire County Council.