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Try crystal ball

It was yet another dispiriting moment when, responding to a BBC reporter's question about headteacher shortages, schools minister Jim Knight rejected the figures. He intimated the Government had the matter in hand by asking the National College for School Leadership to look at attracting `strong people' into leadership positions. Leaving aside that this is a bit late, it does not address the current number of vacancies (Head count still down but future looks brighter, The TES, September 19) and, more worryingly, the frequency of expensive re-advertisements and the shortage of people who want the current job of headship: two facets the Government has refused to acknowledge for years.

Given the Department for Children, Schools and Families' obsession with consultants when faced with any problem, might I suggest that having been unable to see further than the length of Ed Balls' arm, they draft in Gypsy Petulengro to help out.

Tony Roberts, Retired headteacher, Preston, Lancashire.

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